I have always loved the idea that
our characters can lead us places we never expected a story to go.
If you’ve never experienced this in your writing
then I urge you to give yourself the freedom
I’m a planner and yet this and other discoveries about my writing
happen all the time.
It could be as simple as learning that the handbag my main character
has in the last scene actually being present in the first scene…
and what’s inside that borrowed bag is even more interesting!
The guy she crushed on in training camp turns out
to have a thing for participating in Fight Clubs… and he’s a police officer!
I didn’t need to know these things when I made my
overriding plan for this book and
these nuances, these discoveries get me excited about
learning more about this world and these people.
A word of advice,
if you’ve never let yourself experience this form of wonder in your own writing
consider that you might just be over-planning
or placing too much trust in your foreknowledge of that world…
Surprises are exciting
at times a bit scary…
Give yourself a shock sometime – it makes for more dynamic writing 🙂
What big or small discoveries have you made in your writing recently?
I’ve had this happen to me and it’s quite a magical experience 🙂 Except of course when my villain informed me he wasn’t such a bad guy, and so I had to find a whole new motivation for him doing a very bad thing. Still, it made the book stronger in the end. I love the idea that our characters can tell us details we didn’t know – it makes me wonder where stories come from…
I know a writer who won’t outline at all because she says if she already knows how things are going to happen then there’s no point in writing it to “find out” – for anyone who is a planner I think knowing that smaller (and even big revelations like your villain!) happen to us too 😉
Oh, that’s a great way to think about it! I must say I am a bit of a Pantser when I write – I have a beginning, an end and a few events in between, but it’s often a mystery to me how they knit together until I write it. Even so, I find it all works out in the end (so far) 🙂