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.