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The Magic in Writing

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

As a writer, there is nothing more magical than when you envision a scene and capture it on paper just as you saw it in your mind’s eye.

It’s even more magical when the scene is even better when it’s down on paper.

The excerpt below is one such scene. It’s one of my favorites and captures a memory of the characters Adriana and Paolo Clemente from The Passenger so clearly.

I hope you can see it as clearly as I did.

Joie Lesin, author of speculative fiction, "The Magic in Writing"


The Passenger.... an excerpt

The sun flamed bright on the Clemente vineyard. She watched the married women as they laughed and stomped barefoot in the season's first harvested grapes. They held their long skirts up to their thighs, while the men, children, and unwed women stood around and cheered them on.

Lorenzo Clemente stood to the side watching her.

They were not allowed to speak in private and were always under the guard of her aunt's hawk-like eyes. Adriana stole a sideways glance at him and smiled. He was a gallant and comely man. His dark features rested well on his large frame. She could be content married to him. Any woman would do well to catch one of the Clemente heirs. If her father and his had their way, she'd be married to him within the year.

If her aunt was correct, she would learn to love him.

She inched away from her chaperone. If only the old prude would have joined in the crush, she would have been set free.

"Where is she, little brother?" A man locked his arms around Lorenzo's waist and lifted him off the ground.

"Put me down, Paolo," Lorenzo said between his teeth. He laughed and broke from his brother's grip when his feet hit the ground. "You're the last person I would tell." He grinned, yanking his buttoned-down shirt straight. "A man would heed well to lock his woman in when you're around."

"Ah, that is why I use the element of surprise."

Adriana edged closer. This new arrival interested her. This was the oldest of the three brothers—the one she'd been warned to avoid. He was one to ruin a woman's virtue. Was that why no bride had been sought out for him?

Just look at him. He was not a small man by any means, but he was built of lean lines and sinewy muscle—not at all like Lorenzo or the youngest brother, Michael. Paolo's features were sharper. He was an aristocrat made for Roman society, not to be the don of a country vineyard. What woman would not beat down the door for a chance at him?

"Adriana, come back here," her aunt ordered.

Never one to do as she was told, she approached the men, taking several sideway steps, stopping to catch sight of Signora Clemente marching like a young girl in the grapes. All other times Adriana had seen her, the petite woman was soft spoken and reserved. It amazed her to see this frivolous side to the mistress of the vineyard.

Adriana ran her hand along the table set with covered plates of food. It was a feast for the daylong harvest celebration. If she bided her time, waiting for refreshments, perhaps she could sneak away...

"Now this must be Adriana."

She turned toward the brothers, and her breath caught. Paolo leaned casually on Lorenzo's shoulder. He wore a mischievous, lopsided grin. She had never found a man appealing.

"She is much too beautiful for you." Paolo's eyes didn't leave her face.

Too young to have the sense to blush, she smiled at him. "And you, Signore, are much too bold to pay such compliments—especially to a woman promised to your brother." Adriana had always known what was meant to be hers at a first glance. The oldest of the Clemente brothers had been born for her. She would no longer be content to marry the middle brother.


Joie Lesin, author of speculative fiction

One of the things I love about the passage above is how easily it came to me. The words just flowed from my fingers to the keyboard and onto the paper without much conscious thought. It felt as if that moment in time between these two characters, Paolo and Adriana, wanted to be told and I was happy to be the one to carry it forward.

To me those kinds of writing moments are pure magic.

Until next a writer or a reader, what moments do you consider magic when it comes to the written word?

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About the Author

Joie Lesin, Author of Speculative Fiction

Minnesota-based author, Joie Lesin is a life-long fiction writer and the author of The Passenger. She has long been fascinated by anything otherworldly including ghosts. She loves to write a good ghost story—especially when it includes a touch of romance.

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