I just spent 3 days or so with a wonderful group of women writers in a cabin in Tahoe. We explored the elements of powerful writing, and had a number of rousing discussions. But we really came alive when we explored this question:
“What is your emotional catalyst for writing this book?”
What, you may ask, is a catalyst? Well, if we were talking screenplays, the catalyst is that precise moment when the hero/heroine’s world changes, when they can no longer turn back and are forced to head out into the unknown.
For those of us writing books, though, the catalyst is within us. It’s the ember that burns deep inside us. An emotional catalyst runs throughout each book we write. Sometimes we explore new aspects of it, sometimes the catalyst itself changes. But it’s there, simmering beneath the surface.
The catalyst is the underlying reason for you to write your book. It’s the question, you want answered, the hope you want to impart, the insight the reader longs for. Catalyst has significant impact on your life, your characters’ lives, your readers’ lives. It’s the spark that captures our hearts and minds, the longing buried deep inside, the fear that won’t leave us alone.
On the surface, it seems the catalyst would be easy to determine. But in reality, you have to dig deep. Then go deeper.
Peel back the layers until you see the ember, burning beneath it all.
I’ll show you what I mean in my next blog, but first, I’m curious. What is YOUR emotional catalyst for the book you’re working on?