Inspired Friday with Darlene Ryan

Darlene Ryan is the author of many fiction/ non fiction books for young adults, including her newest release, Five Minutes More.

Five Minutes More is the book that wouldn’t go away. I could never get the story written the way that I wanted it to read, so I’d work on the manuscript, get stuck, get discouraged, and put it away. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Finally I decided I would finish the book—no matter how awful it was. Well, the finished story wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t very good, either.

I knew something was wrong with the plotting, but I had been working on that book on and off for years and I’d lost my perspective. At first I thought of doing something melodramatic with the manuscript, like putting it through the shredder or having a bonfire in the driveway.

Well, the shredder sounds like a senior citizen with asthma if I try to feed more than two pages at a time through it, and the city frowns on bonfires in the driveway so close to the well water field. So, I asked my friend Susan, who is also a writer and an excellent editor, to read the whole thing.

She liked some parts, she found some dumb mistakes I’d made, and she said, “Could you _______.” I can’t tell you what goes in the blank because it’s a major story point.

It was an “aha” moment. I realized Susan was right. I rewrote like a maniac. When I was finished, Five Minutes More was finally the story I’d been trying to write for years. I hope everyone enjoys reading it.

Thank you Lauren for inviting me to be part of Inspired Fridays.


Thanks so much, Darlene! :)


  1. Thanks for inviting me Lauren. Could I get some extra credit work to bring my grade up from a C+ to a B-?

  2. Ho Darlene! Nice to meet you. I think it's great that you didn't give up on the story, and now we can read it. :D

  3. Thanks Darlene for sharing your writing process! It sure was insightful!

  4. Thanks for blogging! Now I have to read the book so I can find out what went in the blank. Seriously. I need to know now. :) Awesome post. Thanks.

  5. Don't you just love the "aha" moments? It's what a writer lives for!

  6. The book sounds really fun. It's so good to have someone like Susan to help you step back! Congratulations!


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