When I made the decision in Summer '08 to put fingers to keyboard in pursuit of bringing CROSS to life, I needed a stable environment to concentrate. I chose a Starbucks only one mile away from my home as my writing haven. It provided the seclusion and liquid invigoration I needed to spend hours each day toiling over the manuscript.
Over the course of many months, I exchanged drained cups of java for filled chapters of dialogue. At various points, Drew, Jackson, Kim, Troy, Mr. Cross, and even Joe sat across the table. Their characters spoke to me. Drew and Jackson talked about the bonds of friendship between them and what it felt like for those bonds to be pierced, then re-mended. Joe spewed his contempt for Drew in a way that exposed pent up rage from a troubled past. Kim cooed over Drew but also held Troy's hand as he confessed the difficulties of growing up with a name like Tinkle Troy. Finally, Mr. Cross shared his knowledge of his classroom critters while he petted Prometheus draped around his neck.
Okay...so maybe the coffee went to my head. In all seriousness, though, writers must engage in dialogue with their characters. A comfortable, reliable place to write allows those characters to visit frequently and chat over a warm cup of coffee. Who will you sit down with today?
"Live, Learn, Teach"