Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Peek In #11

Welcome to Week 11 of my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. On December 16, 2011, one lucky person will win a Kindle 3G AND choose the recipient of a second Kindle 3G--just in time for Christmas. Have you entered yet? The reader who submitted this week's Weekend Peek In question has!

In writing about Ida's decline, did you have to do medical research into signs and symptoms of her condition?

William Wordsworth writes, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Fiction often takes its origin in that way as well. My depiction of my character Ida's decline is one example.

Ida's character is not based upon my grandmother, but as my beloved grandma neared the end of her life on earth, she suffered some devastating effects of dementia. To write certain scenes in Delivery, I drew not only from memories of events surrounding my grandma's illness but also from my resulting emotions, as Wordsworth so aptly put, "recollected in tranquility."

Walking a loved one through a terminal illness can bring both hardship and blessings to all involved. My emotions warred while I held my grandmother's hand as she departed this life. I shed joyful tears that she was leaving behind a broken body to join her Savior for a pain-free eternity. I shed mournful tears that she was leaving me as well. I later channeled those emotions into similar scenes in Delivery, which I hope brings those scenes to life and touches readers' hearts.

When I needed medical facts and statistics, for instance to create a realistic timeline for Ida's decline, I turned to credible internet sources and to Linda, a best friend from childhood who happens to be a registered nurse.

In fact, Linda read my manuscript to check for medical accuracy, allowing me to concentrate more on the creative side of the story. It helps to know people in the know!

While a novel is a product of the author's imagination, fiction needs accurate roots. A novelist should check facts with expert sources, but emotions ring most true when the author draws from life experiences, authenticating the story world.

I hope Delivery's readers find Ida's journey and her daughter Livi's growth through it not only authentic but heart-stirring as well!


  1. Diana,

    Thank you for your comprehensive answer to this question. You have addressed the multifaceted ways we develop characters in our writing, whether we write fiction or nonfiction. You also reinforced the importance of researching the topics for accuracy. I had a feeling you were speaking from some personal experience and that you also had researched the medical aspects. How nice to have a friend who is a RN! Being a nurse myself,I could see that Ida's condition was believable. I am always taking lessons for writing my memoir from my fiction writer friends. Clearly,whether we write fiction or nonfiction, we have to do our homework.Yes, you presented Ida's journey in a "heart-stirring, authentic way"! Thank you.

  2. Kathleen, I hope to have the opportunity to read your memoir someday! And maybe I can be privileged to consult you with medical questions for my future novels. Your patients have been blessed over the years to be under the nursing care of one so kind and compassionate. You're a sweetheart. Thank you for your kind words and for dropping by!