Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh Happy Day

Some days it's crappy being a writer. You can't get the words right, or to come out at all. You can't figure out how to make your plot work, and every idea you have feels trite and tired. You think maybe being a postman or a chocolate quality control worker must surely be a better way to go about your life.

That is not this day, in the immortal words of Aragorn.

These past few days are the sort that remind me why I am a writer, why I have always wanted to BE a writer even as a small child (after I gave up my dream of being a doctor-nurse-dentist). I had an idea, a simple "What if this character switched places with that character?", that totally changed my WIP.

Five front and back handwritten pages later, and my WIP has become more awesome than even I thought possible. Just one little question, and I managed to work in several elements that I never thought I would be able to work into a book, and an idea I discarded early on in the development process as "not going to work this time".  The excellent news is my WIP has not really changed from what I had before, it's just deeper now.

I realized that as a writer you need to question everything. Readers are going to make assumptions about your novel, and that's okay. Heck, it's necessary, and allows you to make some cool twists based on these assumptions. But you are the writer and can't assume anything. Just because your idea has X, Y, and Z going on doesn't mean it's in your better interest to accept that at face value. Either during the development process or after you're done with the first draft, check your novel for any assumptions you may have made. 

Because you might have some really awesome ideas lurking beneath the surface.

Happy Friday everyone, and have a great weekend.


  1. Indeed

    I just switched the accusation from Herman's murder to Annelie's abduction and the whole premise of the story seems so much more realistic. I might have had an AYFKM moment if I had left it as it was.

  2. I noticed the "five handwritten pages later" - and sometimes writing things out longhand also gives a different - something to the writing. It's slower, a bit more tactile, and just - I dunno, has a different feel to it.

    Of course, working directly on the computer is nice. :-)

  3. I love when an unexpected breakthrough happens! Sounds like you're on a great roll -- best of luck and keep up the inspired writing!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Joe: It's so easy to just think "Okay this happens and then this happens" and never question it again. No no, bad author! Wondering what if everything was just a little different is where the magic is!

    Linda: For some reason I went straight for the pen and paper, even though I was at my desk. I think it was because it was just an idea I was tossing out there. I wasn't expecting to make much of it. Boy, was I wrong!

    Nicole: thank you so much for your comment! :D I love unexpected breakthroughs too!