Phyllis Schieber Author

Women's Fiction by Phyllis Schieber

Writing, the creative process

I woke up this morning and realized that this would be the weekend I would finish my novel. It’s a complicated position to be in.  I have been living with these characters for more than two years now. They occupy much of my waking life, and soon I will have to release them. This is not necessarily a bad situation to be in as a writer, if you have a plan. And I do have a plan.  In fact, I am comforted by the idea that they have already begin to be crowded out by the new characters waiting to take their place in my conscious life, and in my dreams.  I think that one of the greatest concerns a writer has is what will come next. Is there a new story waiting for me? I try not to let those worries overtake me as I am working on an existing project, but it is always there, the taunting voice that will not go away.

Several weeks ago, my computer was struck by lightening.  I was fortunate that I was not hurt. More importantly, I did not lose any of my work, a miracle since I am often lazy about backing up. That’s a subject for another post.  I bought a new computer, a Mac, that is waiting to be set up after I finish my novel on this resurrected from the dead PC that  friend was kind enough to loan me. I did not want to undertake the challenge of a new computer while I was focused on my work. But all this is digression from the point I want to make. For one entire day, I was without a computer, and I could not write. Yes, I took some notes, and I prepared some ideas for the next chapter, but I must tell you the truth: I was lost. I did not know what to do with myself, a reality that speaks to my greatest fears: What if I run out of ideas for novels? What would I do with my time?

I believe that this is every writer’s greatest fear. I know that when I am in the throes of a novel, everything relates to the story and to the characters. Sometimes I feel like the characters follow me, tagging after me, waiting for me to get back to them and help them finish their lives. That’s what I will be doing today. Yet, even as I anticipate the loss of their presence, I welcome the characters who are waiting in the wings.


August 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Ending a novel and the close relationships you’ve enjoyed with the characters is something I don’t think non-fiction writers have the opportunity to experience at such an emotional level. It’s almost like saying goodbye to your cousin who has been visiting all summer. Just when you get used to her presence, she’s gone. But, as a reader, I’m delighted to hear that the novel is that much closer to the day I’ll be able to read. I can hardly wait to get to know your characters and jump into the lives you have created.

    Comment by MaAnna | August 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks, MaAnna! One of my characters owes you a great deal!

      Comment by phyllis | August 25, 2009 | Reply

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