Ethel, “No, and I am not going to sit on a bridge and write.”
What brought this to my mind? Watching the weather channel on television. There are so many disasters hitting people and countries, it would take too long to list every one and every place. However, we can connect to all these unusual events with bridges. Okay, why not include writing? We write from any available place: a computer on our desk, a laptop in our car, a worn out journal, a piece of paper, a napkin, even the back of our hands. If an idea hits, ya gotta grab it like NOW.
But how do bridges work? In a disaster, if there are distances between and a bridge is still standing, the teams sent in to do search, rescue, and get supplies to the affected areas, can use bridges. I came up with the same idea for writing. Here we are struggling to get an idea from the beginning to the end. Instead of getting all bent out of shape, pardon the cliché’, try a bridge method.
The story begins….a character needs to expand to another area….use a bridge. You can place your character(s) at the beginning of The Bridge and see what they do. Some will take steps forward and even venture to peer over the side. Others will see the long walkway with no safety net and back up. Then, you have a character who chomps at the bit and takes off for the other side. An adventure is awaiting their arrival.
The Bridge brings out the best and worst of a character’s attitude and altitude. You learn how your character reacts to heights, being alone, clinging to another character, unable to encounter the unknowing of what’s on the other side.
Push your characters to their limits and see how they handle situations. Once they are on The Bridge, a different side appears. You can give them a choice to return, if they are not past the middle. This is the place where the bridge can open, if a ship needs passage under. If your characters went to far, can they still cling to the side and hold on for the bridge to close. You learn another dimension of your character’s strength in hard places.
Okay, everyone is now headed down the other side of The Bridge, but what awaits them? This is where you get the tension flowing. Readers either turn pages fast or hesitate. They don’t want anything to happen to their character(s). This could be a no return. Each character needs either to rely on someone or shrug and go off in another direction.
With The Bridge, you took your characters from the normal, to a possibility, to an ending only they can decide. How will they react? How will your readers react? Remember, you can always throw a rope into the novel for a safety net.
Now you know your characters strengths and weaknesses. Make them shine and surprise, not only you, the author, but the reader
CROSS BRIDGES WITH CAUTION. HAPPY WRITING.
“See there, Edna, we worried for nothing. She’s not going to let us down.”
“Yeah, Ethel. I’m so happy. You know I don’t like heights.”