Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Train That Is Writing

Every week, I have to call on accounts in a nearby town in my position with the greeting card company I work for. This little town has two major railroad lines running through it, and as many as 70 to 100 trains a day pass through it, bottling up traffic. The town is working right now on creating an underpass, so traffic can still move while the trains go rumbling by.

Probably since it's not an everyday annoyance with me, I love watching the trains whiz by from the

comfort of my car. I try to imagine how far the train extends. Is it a mile long? Ten miles? I am curious about the individual cars and what's contained in them. Are they carrying chemicals? Auto parts? Food? Coal? How long does it take to hook the cars together on a long train like the one I'm looking at and where does it get done? How complex is it to find and line up just the right ones and plan their route?

Which leads me to where I'm at today. I've just finished my flash first draft of my new contemporary romance, and am assured that it has a beginning, middle and an end. An engine, the cars in between that contain the story, and a caboose. Now comes the tedious part, where I go through it scene by scene, loading it up with detail, adding in more dialogue, creating a picture of where the h/h are with my words. I check to make certain there is an adequate use of the senses and that the scene logically follows the one before it and ties in nicely with the one after it. Kind of like hooking together the various rail cars on a train.


  1. Hi Becky,
    Excellent post! Like you, I'm not usually annoyed by trains blocking traffic. But then, I'm retired and not usually in a rush to get anywhere. Right now, I'm in the midst of a very rough first draft and hoping to reach the caboose by the end of December.
    Joanne :)

    1. Hi Joanne, and thanks for visiting. I'm retired, too, so maybe that's why I don't mind the wait. Like you, I'm also working on a rough first draft, which I'm trying to keep on track. Another metaphor...

  2. Great post. Keep hooking those care together, and you'll reach the caboose before you know it.