It’s Like Magic

Or not.

Last week we talked about the birth of a story. The moment when I get the most awesome idea! Yay! That’s actually one of my favorite parts of writing: brainstorming. It’s the writing that kills me sometimes.

Coming up with story ideas is easy peasy, but putting them into a sensible, entertaining story can be a time-consuming, hair-pulling exercise in futility…for me. The proof is the twenty half-written books, about twelve stories a quarter written, and even more stories that have one page sitting in my external hard drive. Why? Because the move from idea to story isn’t always smooth.

I could probably fix this by plotting…or something. But I’m not a plotter. To pull on my drama queen crown, “I can’t work under these conditions! It stifles my creativity!” I have to wait until it’s the right time to write a story. It could be a couple of days, it could be a few weeks, it could be years, but when the time is right, my muse comes online and we’re writing like fiends. And even that doesn’t always work out.

Because I really enjoy character driven plots, I have to give control of my story to the characters and let them steer the action *shudder* Have I mentioned I’m a control freak? Yeah, kind of ironic since I don’t like to direct every moment of my stories, but I struggle with my characters. I’ll let them have a little lead and pull them back…we’ll go on like this until I finally say, “Oh, what the hell, let them have their fun” and let go. That’s when the story comes to life.

Once the characters are in place and know what they want, it’s almost like the story takes on a life of its own. I can’t stop writing. I have to keep going because I don’t even know what’s going to happen between point A and point D…they might skip over B, jump to E, fall back to C and then proceed to D. But whatever they do, it works.

For me, the non-plotting drama queen, writing is an adventure. Yes, I can dictate that I want this scene, this conversation, and this is how it will be resolved, but in the end, my stories are written by my characters helped along with a little bit of writing magic.

About danicaavet

Danica Avet lives and writes in the wilds of South Louisiana. Unmarried with no children, she's the proud pet of two cats and a dog. With a BA in History, she decided there were enough fry cooks in the world and tried her hand at writing. Danica loves losing herself in the antics of her characters and blushes more often than not at the things they do. She likes to define her work as paranormal romance with a touch of Cajun spice, but most times her characters turn the notch up to "five-alarm fire"!
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8 Responses to It’s Like Magic

  1. jeff7salter says:

    Danica, My story processes are quite similar to yours. The majority of he time, my characters pick up the plot and run with it and my job is to try to stay close enough to get it on ‘paper’ — lest they leave me behind.
    What I especially like (and marvel at) is when I introduce a minor character simply to get a bit of plot business established — or to lay a foundation for something which appears later — and that character demands more ‘page time’. I can’t help but comply and it’s usually great stuff.


    • danicaavet says:

      LOL, yeah, I know what you mean. My characters are total divas and they all want their time in the spotlight (even the secondary characters) which is why I end up having to write a series. I get all huffy about it, but I do love it when they’re making things happen so fast I can barely keep up!


      • jeff7salter says:

        Ha. Well, mine haven’t really been ‘divas’ — at least not in the sense I understand that word.
        One was the brother of the heroine, who I originally needed only as a walk-on. Another was the mother of the hero (different story) whom I originally needed only to relay info from one protagonist to the other because they “weren’t speaking” at that point.
        In each case, they lobbied heavily for a beefier role.
        There have been other examples but those two have impressed me the most with their zest.


  2. Daisy Harris says:

    What I don’t gt et is how your stories can be so long if you don’t plot! I plot a bunch an still cant write full-length. 😦



    • danicaavet says:

      LOL because I’m wordy…like a perverted Faulkner *cough* Actually, I think it’s because I take so many left turns and follow so many rabbit holes that end up working for the story. Weirdly enough. And trust me, I wish I could write tighter! I’m so jealous of your novellas!


  3. I love the pixie dust. Cute. I can totally relate to everything you said. I love it when the characters do something I never expected. Like Jeff said, sometimes the minor characters come and really take over. It’s fun and an adventure! I think that’s why I like first drafts the best. The pure joy in that journey can’t be beat.


  4. Lynn Rush says:

    Nice. I love this –> Drama queen crown, “I can’t work under these conditions! It stifles my creativity!”

    I’m right there with ya, sista!! 🙂


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