This is my second post for The Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
Before we get to the monthly post, I want to first apologize to all the people who wrote to me in June, which was my first post for IWSG. My brain apparently took a leave of absence. I had written the post and posted it early in May so I wouldn’t forget, and somehow thought I would receive email notifications when there were comments. But I didn’t get any email notifications and instead of actually checking here (the smart thing to do), I just assumed no one had responded. Late June/Early July was crazy, so I missed that month’s posting, but did do a blog hop at the end of July and found all the responses waiting for my approval! So, first of all, thank you for writing, and then second, please forgive me for not seeing/responding to them until last week. I will be more responsive this time now that I know I won’t be getting email notifications!
I will also plan to check out some of the other blog posts this time, too!
Anyway, on to the question:
August 7 question – Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?
I’m always surprised when I am writing, to be honest, and it doesn’t seem to matter how much or how little outlining I do. I’ve done detailed scene-by-scene outlines of the whole book, and also jumped in with only a line or so and no plan at all. Obviously, I’m surprised when I have no idea, but even when I outline, I start diverting from the planned plot about a quarter of the way through and by the time I am half-way through, the plan no longer works. As a result, I now do broad plotting, if any (having an idea of where I want the story to go and some main points I want to get to), for the whole book, and if I want, more detailed planning of the beginning, and as I go. I think the “as I go” planning is called headlight planning.
So that’s sort of a process question, but let’s get to a specific moment of surprise. I have started writing Prime Tower*. It’s basically an epic science fantasy dystopian novel about an amnesiac. Think Bourne Identity mixed with something like 1984 or Zamyatin’s We. The plot is more spy novel/epic fantasy than dystopian, but the setting is pretty dark. And it’s both futuristic and has magic.
While I was developing the magic part of the world, I had a flash of insight, and I saw the whole climax play out before my eyes. It was just amazing and perfect, and it linked the characters and the world and the plot in a way that resonated with the theme of the story. I can’t wait to get there!
*You can read about Prime Tower and other works in progress on my Works in Progress page!
INSECURE WRITER’S SUPPORT GROUP
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Writers supporting, encouraging and learning from each other. Post on your own blog about your struggles, your triumphs, and your successes. Talk about your works in progress the good, the bad and the ugly or some other writing relating topic on your mind. Read others, interact, comment, and grow within this wonderful author community. Every month there is an optional question for those who may need help figuring out what to post about.
Twitter is @TheIWSG Hashtag: #IWSG
And here are the awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG!