Creating a Story, Cont'd: Time to Celebrate!


Yesterday I opened an email from my editor and learned her response to the synopsis:

I have two words for you–Love. It.


Those of you who’ve followed my synopsis-writing journey know how overjoyed I am to get this news! The book is tentatively titled The Midwife’s Confession (thus the picture on the left. Adorable, no?) and the focus will be on four women, all pushing forty, who have been best friends since college. I believe it will be due in August ’09 or thereabouts, so there’s no time to rest. I’ll occasionally let you in on my progress.

The first thing I’ll do is start breaking the story down into scenes. As soon as I hit “save” on this post, I’ll  get out my color-coded index cards (a different color for each point-of-view character) and start jotting down scenes–as well as the character’s emotional response to what’s going on.

I’ll also make decisions on structure, figuring out, for example, how to reveal certain things about one character who is, well, no longer among the living. And I’ll get started on the research. I’m considering setting the story in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is on the Cape Fear River and close to a number of beaches. It’s also the most active film-making site outside of Los Angeles and New York. I’ve never been to Wilmington and look forward to discovering an area that’s new to me. 

The one unfortunate note in all of this is that my fabulous editor, Miranda, will not be working with me on this book. She’s going on maternity leave in January, and since she’s Canadian, she gets a full year! I’m sure my new editor will be wonderful, but Miranda is a hard act to follow.

Now, where did I stash those notecards?


  1. Gina on November 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    *jumping up and down*
    OMG, I can’t wait for this book. It just sounds so good Diane. Can’t wait, can’t wait!
    I’m so happy for you that you got the go-ahead. Break out the champagne!
    Can’t wait. Did I say that already?

  2. Glen on November 21, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Congratulations Diane! I can only imagine how excited you are to move forward on the project and weave your special magic… that we all so know and love!
    I have a couple more of your books to find so I can get my regular dose of DIANE 🙂

  3. Margo on November 21, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Oh, I’m SO EXCITED FOR YOU DIANE!!!!…I just knew this was going to be a go!…
    That was really quik news, right?…I’m thrilled to know it takes place in NC and near a beach too…and the title is SO intriguing! CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE…in fact, I think Gary & I will celebrate for you tonite too! (-:

  4. Denise on November 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

    I’m ecstatic, Diane! Once this idea took off, you really seemed to run with it. As Margo said, the title in very intriguing. I am so excited! I didn’t realize it would be published as soon as next August. Woo hoo!

  5. DIane Chamberlain on November 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Put the champagne back in the bottle. This book may be a no go after all. I considered removing this post from the blog when I received the news this afternoon, but since part of my objective in writing a blog is to help new writers understand the angst, as well as the joy, of writing, I’ve decided to leave it in.
    I will know more next week, but for now, let’s just say I’ll be spending my weekend doing housework instead of writing. 🙁

  6. Margo on November 21, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Oh no Diane!…what happened?…too late on the celebration…Gary & I just finished a wonderful dinner with champagne & a big toast to YOU!…well I’ll tell you what, whatever happens you are still the BEST and I know you will reconcile this somehow. To know you are not alone, I will do housework this weekend too. )-:

  7. Denise on November 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    OMG, Diane, “angst” doesn’t begin to describe it! I will be sending up lots of prayers that it is a go.

  8. Gina on November 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Don’t give up Diane. Things happen for a reason. If it wasn’t meant to be this time, the next one will.
    No matter what, we will wait for you. It’s okay.

  9. brenda on November 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I AM OKAY-just overwhelmed…lots in personal life-plus my daughter’s surgery (in another state)…plus traveling there to see baptism of two of the grandchildren…grading final papers, essays, etc. for two different universities and research papers for two of the high school classes…In Jan…I plan to work one job for one semester-the high school one-that pays my bills-next fall-back to two jobs…that’s the economy….
    Love Wilmington, N.C. close to Myrtle…my favorite beach besides the one where my son lives…One of my best friends (from h. s.) has a daughter to started her career in Wilmington-working on movies with Clint Eastwood-among others-went to Hollywood to work on XFILES and is now doing Cold Case-she is a buyer for the shows…she went to college here…my friend, though, lives in NC…I can’t wait to get back to my BLOG and get to work with all of you on HELPING our friend, Diane, with her WIP. 🙂 🙂
    Happy T’giving…

  10. brenda on November 23, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Diane-after this book-take a rest…
    Also-let us know when/if you will be speaking in 2009.

  11. […] picture. I love it and have it on my desktop to keep me focused as I write. I originally posted it back when I first started writing this book. . . before I was derailed by a decision at my publishing house. […]

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