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Correct Order

By Lynn Hobbs

Usually, I write and edit one book or one short story at a time before beginning another. Like some authors, I have a lot of interruptions. In trying to allow for a smooth transition to ‘jump back to where I left off’ in whatever I am writing, I list ideas I want to consider before I stop. Hours later I return, correct order is determined of ideas I kept, and I write totally immersed in the novel.

As a disciplined writer, this is my routine. It works well for me, and I encourage you to be comfortable with whatever routine works for you. Similar to drinking coffee, some want it iced, some like it black, others enjoy a creamy concoction in their brew. It’s all coffee, whatever you prefer.

I did experiment recently, and got out of my comfort zone in writing. Yes, it taught me more than I ever imagined, and it was for the best in this particular situation.

As a writer who creates lists with priorities, I started lining out my next Christian fiction series, what I wanted to convey, etc.

Yet, each day, I was pulled to write another novel, a biography about my 87 year old mother. Being her caretaker, I am with her daily; she is my next door neighbor. I often hear her stories that are truly unique, heart-warming, and inspiring. Naturally, I prayed for direction.

At first, I scribbled notes to myself of what I wanted to include in her book, while writing the first book of my new series. Later, I had Mom write the year of what particular event happened, and suggested she list what meant the most to her from everything she had experienced.

Scanning through her list, my gut feeling kicked in, and I knew my prayer was answered. Mom’s book was my new priority. I gave it my full attention and discovered how difficult it was to write due to the true, emotional scenes.

After I wrote over twelve chapters, Mom would remember something else that belonged in a past time frame. I’d back track, including 600 to 800 additional words in the correct chapter, and it flowed well. Weeks turned into months as she and I would stop for doctor appointments, maintenance, grocery shopping, etc. Her biography continued as I worked on the perfect book cover. More stories were recalled that I absolutely had to include. I back tracked again. They were not only special, but each had a meaning behind them. They inspire.

I am almost finished writing this book. Of course, I have used all the tips and instructions I was taught from attending many writing workshops.

I learned yet another lesson, which proved valuable in creating an older character for my other fiction novels. Correct order is not how we remember. Our memory comes in spurts with laughter, or somber reflections of wisdom. Now, I am more prepared to ‘jump back’ into writing my new Christian fiction series. Thank you, Mom.

Lynn HobbsLynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga from Desert Coyote Productions.
Book #1: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, awarded 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2013, Texas Association of Authors.
Book #2: River Town, 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2014, TAA.
Book #3: Hidden Creek, 1st place, Religious Fiction 2015, TAA.
You can find Lynn on her website at http://www.LynnHobbsAuthor.com

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6 Responses to Correct Order

  1. Thank you, Lynn, (and Mom :)), for this inspiring post. I especially appreciated these words: “Correct order is not how we remember. Our memory comes in spurts with laughter, or somber reflections of wisdom.” So beautiful, and so true! Thank you!

    Blessings,

    MaryAnn

  2. Ane Mulligan says:

    I love this, Lynn. I wish I’d had that time with my mother to hear the old stories. They moved too far away to do that. But I’m tickled to hear you did it. Are you publishing it?

  3. Loved this, Lynn. I can so identify with your mom’s memory. As I’m nearing 80 (next year) I find my memory doing the same thing. The bad thing for me is I can’t remember the years some things happened if don’t have the age of my sons or some other link to remind me of the year. So glad your mom can remember so much.

    This book will be a precious legacy for your children and other family members.

  4. I experienced this too in writing about my dad’s 90-year-old life this last Christmas. It wore me out, but it was so worth it. It’s posted in three installments on my blog.

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