Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Hop Thursday

Today's Blog Hop question is:  Do you write in logical order?

Honestly, there is nothing logical about the manner in which I write.  My stories are character driven, meaning unless my characters talk to me and lead me, I have no idea where I'm going.  So far, I'm had a great report with my leading men and women, but Hattie from my current WIP is giving me fits.  I just may have to start another story to show her who's boss.  *smile*

I really like how this story starts and I'd love to see it through, but right now, we're stuck in a Conestoga just entering Independence, MO to join a wagon train.  I think the site of the only other city she's been to has struck her speechless. Just to set the scene; Hattie, born in the local orphanage, has grown up never knowing her parents.  She's the oldest of all the children there and while working part time at the mercantile, she notices an ad for someone to travel with a local family to California and help care for their three children.  Here's a sample from Hattie's Hero:

A blonde woman, dressed in a floral gown with a high collar and fitted waist, descended the steps with elegant grace. Slim but curvy, and only a wee bit taller than Hattie, she approached and extended her hand. “I’m Abigail Franklin. It’s very nice to meet you.”
Hattie ran her dampened palm down the front of her shift before she accepted the woman’s offered hand. “Hattie Carson. And it’s my pleasure.”
Mr. Franklin yanked his watch from his pocket again and checked the time. “I’ll leave you two to discuss the matter of caring for the children. I have business to tend involving the sale of the house and furniture.” Stepping closer to his wife, he leaned toward her ear. “She comes from the orphanage with no recommendations. Don’t confuse particulars with pity.”  His attempt at whispering failed. With a touch to the brim of his hat, Mister Franklin disappeared out the front door, but not before rolling his eyes one more time at Hattie.
She gulped down a swallow and considered leaving.
“Please, come into the parlor and let’s get better acquainted.” Mrs. Franklin gestured toward the airy room to her right. Her friendly smile and face compensated for her husband’s brashness.
Hattie stepped inside and gawked at the blue settee and the armed floral chairs. Their rich mahogany matched the table between them and the mantle above the stone fireplace. Nothing in the orphanage coordinated with such perfection.
“Please have a seat, dear.”  Mrs. Franklin’s voice drew Hattie’s wide-eyed wonder back to the center of the room.
 After the missus sat, Hattie perched on the chair across from her.
“So, tell me why you answered our advertisement.”  Mrs. Franklin directed the question to Hattie, but nodded at the woman who stood in the doorway, wearing a white apron over her drab olive dress. Most of her graying hair hid beneath the white cap upon her head. She entered and deposited a tray bearing a teapot and two dainty cups and saucers on the table between the two women. She left without a word.
Mrs. Franklin poured a cup. “Tea?”  She offered the delicate china to Hattie.
“Yes, please.”  Hattie grasped the edge of the saucer with trembling fingers and struggled not to spill.
After pouring herself a cup, Mrs. Franklin leaned back. “Where were we?  Oh yes, why you’re here…”  She sipped the steaming brew.
Hattie placed her tea on the table and took a deep breath. Her insides felt as knotted as her mended shoelace. “I may as well be honest, as I’m sure your husband just informed you, I’ve lived in the local orphanage for far too long. I have no family that I know of, and I’m anxious for a new beginning. My entire life has been devoted to helping the younger children adjust to missing their parents, so I feel quite confident I can do whatever you need me to do.”
Mrs. Franklin rested her hand on her bosom. “I’m so sorry, my dear. It must have been horrible growing up in such a manner.”
“There were a few bright spots, but not many. Aside from the love I received from the younger ones, there wasn’t much else to cherish.”
“Did you know your family before…?”
“No, ma’am. Sadly, I have no memory of them. In fact, I was named by someone at the Protestant asylum. I bear her last name.”
“My, you do have a story to share, and one I would love to hear. But first, let’s decide if this position really suits you.”
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Don't forget to come back next week.


Megan Johns said...

This is a great hook, Ginger. I enjoyed every word and really hope you can get Hattie to behave!

Angelika Devlyn said...

I wonder if that is why I have trouble doing things in logical order, too. :)

Naughty, Hattie - although, having her lead is not always a bad thing, just hard work for you!

Here is my blog post for today!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about stubborn characters! Sometimes when they misbehave, I'll introduce a new character to make them jealous. They usually start talking after that. :)

Anne E. Johnson said...

So it seems that the logic behind your writing is sometimes your characters' rather than your own!

Cate Masters said...

Unruly characters somehow always know what they want! It's usually just a matter of getting to know them a little better. Hope Hattie opens up soon. :)

J Q Rose said...

Yes, I deem you a true artist, so I can imagine how your characters actually get in your head to write the story. Right now, Hattie is giving you a headache! Best wishes for her to start talking.

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