Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unexpected Things

Life is full of unexpected things.  In Jean's Monday blog, we saw that firsts become lasts, which then lead up to more firsts, and the cycle repeats over and over again.  Life is like that, isn't it?  We never seem to know when a first will blindside us.  Likewise, we don't know when a last will sneak up on us when we least expect it, leaving us fumbling for words to say.

I've been pondering this very thing lately because I've got a new book fermenting in my brain.  Along with it comes first love, the kind that develops during the course of a new story idea and the fleshing out of new characters with their firsts: first meet, first kiss, first fight... you get the idea.  ;)

Typing The End is ultimately satisfying because of the limitless publishing possibilities, but beginning anew is quite the adventure.  Expectation.  Suspense.  A compass that takes you where you want to go.  You name it!  When it comes to writing a new book, everything is at a writer's disposal.  But the choices a writer makes, the deeper into the book a writer goes, no matter how intricately plotted or conceived, oftentimes deviate from the designated fork in the road. 

To follow the plot or not?  That is the question. 

Characters like to blindside writers, don't they?  I find this part of the writing process to be the most intriquing part.  When a character comes fully-fleshed out, it's not like I have any say in the matter when that fork presents itself.

Once realized, stories become entities that no longer require a writer's vision.

I love this part about writing the most.  That moment when the story unfolds as if it is writing itself and the characters speak as though alive.  (Though it can get crowded up in here when that happens.  )

I'm having a moment like this now.  While finishing up my current book, I had a character who simply wouldn't allow me to write a scene.  He didn't like being told what to do.  (He's an Alpha male, of course and wanted things his way).  His way however, meant scaring my inner critique, that good ol' tried and true internal editor.  You know the one, or ones, in my case.  You see, my internal editor is a them, not a who.  They are the church choir staring over my shoulder, which makes it quite crowded in my tiny office space.  When the writing is good, it's so very, very good.  (Cue Hallelujah chorus, prayer hands and swaying bodies.)  But when the writing is bad, not bad writing, mind you, but writing that deviates to the deliciously bad and sexy, well... things can get ugly up in here.

Times like these call for extreme measures.  Believe me, I know.  That's why I love Alpha heroes.  Strong and sure of themselves, they won't let anyone stand in their way to a happy ending.  They're prepared to fight through the massing crowd with savvy and sword to exact my cooperation.  Until, my handsome hero defeats said internal editors and sends them packing off to the choir loft where they belong, I'm sometimes at a character's mercy.  And thankfully so.  Because when a truly fleshed-out character wants to make you his be-otch, you know the writing's good. 

When your story takes an unexpected turn, give your characters and stories their firsts and lasts.  Allow them to come to life.  Doing so, could possibly bring salvation.

How do you deal with that pesky Internal Editor?

12 comments:

  1. I don't seem to have one. That's why I go on too long.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Usually, Jean and I believe that if the character feels that the scene is important it probably is.

    We call this the Easter Egg Hunt problem because we once had a scene that was a children's Easter egg hunt that a character (and Jean) wanted to have in the story. I thought it was gratuitous but in the end it ended up being a very important scene we just didn't realize it in the beging. So we have learned to trust our characters, after all it is their story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing scenes can be like an Easter Egg hunt sometimes. Lol!

      I admire the way you and Jean work together!

      Delete
  3. Sounds like a certain somebody Alpha male hero needs a book of his own! What a wonderful problem to have. ;-) I find it difficult to shut off my internal editor. It's one reason it takes me so long to write a book. Painful, but there it is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw! Thanks for posting, Lexi. But it is the Alpha hero telling me this. Lol! I know what he wanted. And believe me, he wanted it bad. I'm the one who tried to change things but when I tried, the story stalled. He just wouldn't let me move past that point.

      Once I wrote the scene his way, the story started to flow again. (smacks head and looks for undead monkey to shoot).

      Should have known better but that choir is so boiterous. (shakes fist) Curse you Pembridge scholars!!!

      Delete
  4. I am not a plotter. My characters usually sweep me along for the ride, wherever that may take me. Like Jean, I tend to go on too long so I must not possess that internal editor. The editing usually comes after the hero and heroine tell me what is happening. I listen most of the time, having learned that strong-arm tactics and the delete key will do nothing to change their minds.

    Gee, wouldn't Freud like to dissect the bunch of us - talking and listening to our imaginary friends? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be a very interesting study, wouldn't it, Cheryl?

      Delete
  5. Just roll with the flow. That's what I'm doing now and that makes writing fun. Bucky Sue just popped out of nowhere in The Yard Sale and there she was, a miniature Loretta Lynn. I love creative freedom.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rolling with the flow. I like that Patricia! Keeping the fun in writing can be such an exhausting experience though, can't it?

    Don't know what I would do without creative freedom. Makes life worth living, don't you think?

    Thanks for posting today!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with Patricia...roll with the flow. I love it when characters surprise me. Great post, Kathy!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Our chapter held a challenge in Feb to write 30,000 words in one month. I found that REALLY forced me to turn off my internal editor and just bang some words out. Scarily enough, IMO that chunk is some of the best writing in the ms to date. And I agree about keeping it fun. If it isn't fun to write, it isn't going to be fun to read. So I try and mix it up with unexpected twists.

    ReplyDelete