A few days later, I experienced another case of unbridled terror, fearful of even going out of my house. I was cleaning one of the bedrooms and the walls seemed to close in on me. Everything went totally black. My chest tightened, and I fell to one knee and eventually collapsed in a heap on the blue shag carpet. I…stumbled out of that room, holding onto what little sanity I had left. I lay there for a few minutes, thinking this must surely be hell.
How did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? I’m a good person, aren’t I? Is this really what insanity is like? Will I ever be myself again? I had a pretty good childhood, except for the usual family squabbles. Now My whole life is falling apart. I feel totally defeated. What’s going on? Why am I such a wreck?
Imagine what the world would be like if people could hear one another’s thoughts. Ouch! We’d be treading on dangerous ground. No doubt, we’d be making a lot of enemies. I consider myself a pretty nice person, but I have to admit my thoughts can go to some dark places at times. Admitting that I harbor jealousy, hatred, anger, fear and pride is not easy. However, if I want to tell an honest story, I have to tell the whole story. In Chapter One of The Price of Pearls, I pull the reader in by sharing my internal struggle. I let the reader hear my thoughts as I try to understand what’s going on with me. The reader wants to connect with the writer. This will not happen unless you pull him or her into the story with this simple technique.
Practice writing your thoughts in a journal. Think of a conversation you had with your spouse, friend, or that person you find very hard to like. Yes, I said it! We all have people in our lives who rub us the wrong way. And when I think about it, as nice as I think I am, my husband will gladly tell you I make it my goal to bug him daily. Yes, we’ve been married forty years, but we’ve irritated each other from time to time.
What were you thinking during your “heated” discussion? Or before? Or after? Where were you? What were you doing? You saw me in a bedroom in my house. Then I gradually built up to the moment when I shared my thoughts about what was happening to me. I pulled you into my world by letting you hear my thoughts. As you see in the second paragraph, I put those thoughts in italics. As a writer, you need to read other authors, especially authors who write about their lives. You’ll gain valuable skills.
In my next post, we’ll look at other ways to use dialogue in your story. In the meantime, pay attention to your internal dialogue and practice, practice, practice. It’s always the right time to write!