Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Things Change

I noticed awhile ago and I’m going to point out now something inevitable in the writing process… or at least in my writing process.

Things Change

I went into this first book with fourteen pages of notes. World building, character info, plotting… It was all there. But as I actually wrote, I found that my plan wasn’t always what necessarily happened.

-A main character became very secondary, nearly unimportant
-Main characters didn’t end up with the exact same personality I had planned for them.
-Several characters I hadn’t even dreamed up were suddenly there, with vibrant personalities, begging for big parts.
-Not a single chapter flowed the way I had it plotted. They didn’t generally deviate too far, but they were always different.
-Several chapters I hadn’t planned on came into existence. Like you get to chapter X and realize that this big thing needs to happen in order to get to Z. Insert Y.

It’s like the book has a mind of its own and I’m just a tool in the process of bringing it to life.

On the whole though, I think the changes were great. The characters and scenes came out better than I’d imagined them. They seemed to just flow, like they were meant to be a certain way and if I tried to force them to go my way they’d come out like twisted scrap metal instead of a shiny new car.

I’ve learned from this experiences that plotting ahead is a good idea because that’s the only thing that’s kept me from getting lost, but that I have to be flexible, because the stories and characters will change, whether I want them to or not.

Fantasmic, this world of writing, isn’t it?

1 comment:

Chaz T Saamen said...

Interesting insight into the writing process. Sara Douglass, a writer of who's work I am fond of, offers new and aspiring writers advice on her website. Douglass is a fantasy writer in Australia, and has had a large number of her books published in the U.S.
You seem to have a good deal of insight into the process and strategies of writing; have you used any sources to help you with this, or is it all just pure unadulterated genius?