There was a line in a movie, The Expendables. The first one. Jason Statham has a scene with a girl he’d been seeing. She was with another man and there are things said, powerful emotions, especially from him that tugged at me. He makes a comment in another scene “I was worth it”. That grabbed my gut and the wheels started spinning.
A man you adore, you love, you crave with every beat of your heart, leaves for who knows how long, for who knows where, doing who knows what… Is he worth waiting for? Is he worth it? That’s what Wait For Me is about.
Sometimes that’s all it takes. One line. One word. One look. And my fingers and mind are off to the races, so to speak…
But will readers like it? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Do I care? Yes, I do, but at the same time, I have no expectations. The story is what it is. And I have tried to practice what I preach in the realm of reading. I want to enjoy the books I’m reading, but I’m also trying not to see too much, not to expect more than what the book is. I find that takes a whole lot of pressure off and does allow for more enjoyment. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t books I approach with this attitude that don’t disappointment and in the end leave me thinking “WTF was that?” but for the most part, it works.
When I wrote Wait For Me, that’s what I had in my head too. No expectations beyond the story I needed and wanted to tell. I kept fiddling with it. I kept adding to and taking away from. I kept trying to see something different, but in the end, it is what it is and I think that’s likely the healthy approach to it, to all books. It is what it is. In hindsight, they can always be better. They can always be something more. They can always morph and change and even become something completely different than we as authors intended them to be when we first started out… However, the trick is to let go and move on. Write the book we intend to write and let the readers have it. If they love it, great. If they don’t, that’s great too. We’ve moved on. We’ve learned. And we hope they’ll like the next one. (the blog WarriorWriters helped me see this)
Occasionally, there’s a hit. Occasionally, there’s one that we hit out of the ballpark without ever imagining that we could. Those are special. Rare. And make all the ones that were hit and miss inbetween, worth it.
There are stories we just need to tell…
Melody Ashford has been in love with Vinny since she was sixteen. He told her to wait, come back to him when she was legal. Two years later she crawled into his bed and never wanted to crawl out. They spent one blissful summer together, before he left for boot camp and a life in the military.
Vinny comes back to their little South Carolina town as often as he can, then leaves again for parts unknown. The heartache when he departs takes its toll and Melody passes the time with work, friends, and casual companionship from men she’s known all her life.
If Vin were a better man he’d set her free. But it would kill him to let go of the one thing more precious than life…
Their love is volatile, and full of passion. No one has ever touched Melody the way Vinny does, but he’s never said the words, never asked the question that would ensure no one else ever had the right. He’s got secrets and missions he can’t share, and she’s got dreams of a life with him in her bed every night. Can they put both aside and simply love one another until the time is right, or is his request too little too late?
What about you? What kind of expectations do you have going into reading or writing a book? Do you have any expectations at all?
Have a great weekend…