Scent of Jasmine

Been perusing a book by William Noble entitled, “Conflict, Action and Suspense, How to pull readers in and carry them along with dramatic, powerful storytelling.” It is one of the Elements of Fiction Writing Series books by Writer’s Digest Books. Though I haven’t read all of the books in the series, I’d have to say that this book smacks at everything I’ve learned in school. It is about conflict. Drama. That’s it. Really.

I am currently working on a novella. It is about a family. A single mom and her two daughters set in the early 70s in Santa Barbara. The eldest daughter is fiercely independent, opinionated and conservative while the youngest is laid back but insightful and intelligent. Both girls try and outsmart each other- in life and love and in the middle of it is their enabler of a mother. She is fraught with guilt from two failed relationships and is determined to shower her daughters the love she didn’t give the men who sired them. This was a project from school. I intend to finish it come kingdom come.

I chose family as a focal point of contention and, in essence, confrontation. We all have our own little drama growing up and being part of a family. Do you remember the tales your parents told people in parties about you that you had to leave the room just to save face? Or what about the time when you made your father guilty because he promised to take you to ice cream but he ended up going to the casino instead. There are no happy families. Right? If there were, they didn’t have anything for you to write about. Imagine your parents telling you to write a story about their love life? Who’d read that? It would be interesting if you find out you weren’t your father’s child while he’s in his deathbed.

Why Scent of Jasmine? I dunno. I find the Jasmine flower intoxicatingly dramatic. To incorporate it as a centerpiece of a family drama will certainly be a challenge. I am up for it. Just wait and read it when it’s finished. So back to deadlines!


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