So since I can't seem to stay off the internet while I should be writing, I decided to pull into the station and do something (semi) productive.
Can I just say I love writing*? Just as much as I love reading. Seriously. And I love reading. I mean, I really, REALLY love reading. Really.
What is it that I love about writing? Oh, so many things, but here's what inspired me to make that statement to you fine people: I love watching the story unfold. I mean, I know what's going to happen. I know who's gonna show up and try to kill whom. I know who's gonna save whom. I know what happened in the past to make two characters feel a certain way. I know how the story is going to end. I know all this stuff.
But I LOVE surprises. I just finished writing a flashback-type scene that shows what happened when the two main characters met. Now I've had this scene in my head for a while, but when my fingers started moving across the keys and having a life of their own, I found out that a semi-minor (recurring pain-in-the-rear) character was there!! No way!! I had NO idea!! So I wrote him in, and the scene flows beautifully with the rest of the story. It is so fitting that that character is the one in that scene! (This would probably make a LOT more sense if I just told you what happened, but you'll just have to wait until the book is published! ;o) Ask me again after you read it, and I'll tell you which scene I'm talking about...)
Anyway, my mom is fascinated whenever I tell her that something has surprised me. I guess many people (myself included before this journey) just assume that writers know what they are doing. Wait, that came out wrong... They assume that writers know what is going to happen. And to a certain extent, I do. But then my characters jump out from pages they were never supposed to be on and wave their little fictional hands as if to say, "Hey! What are you doing? Don't you know this is how the story goes? DUH!" And being the obedient little writer that I am (yes, mom, that was for you), I acquiesce, knowing that they are right.
For me, surprises make writing a book/novel/manuscript just like reading a book (you know, a published book, by another author, with a story that doesn't already exist in my head)! And we all know how I feel about reading. :o)
What about you? Have your characters ever waved at you from the page and decimated your carefully constructed chapter outline? Or am I just crazy?
Drop me a comment! And I'll see you the next time the train pulls into the station!
*Yes, I know. I hear you now. "Why are you procrastinating if you love writing so much?" you ask. Because my characters just decimated the next part of my carefully constructed (okay, sloppily handwritten) chapter outline and then left me to figure out what they're supposed to do next, and I have no fricken' clue!!!