I Write Because I Love Surprises

I started writing the first draft of my sci-fi mystery novel, Hybrid Theory, around the middle of September. I’m making good progress but it’s been a little stilted the last week or so. This morning I finally got on a roll, and in the process I rediscovered one of the reasons I love to write so much. Surprises.

I’ve never been much of a plotter in my writing. I used to write with absolutely no idea where I was headed, but to avoid unnecessary heartache during revisions, I’ve developed (or I should say I’m still developing) my own special blend of pantsing and plotting. So I tried something new this time around, a very bare-bones outline, the kind I use for non-fiction writing projects.

So far this has worked out great. When I get stuck, I look to my outline and move on to the next point. It’s keeping my focus level up, and my panic level down. But there’s still room to write between the lines and that’s what made this morning’s writing session so brilliant. I knew where I needed to go next (go outline!) but I had no thoughts on how to get there yet. The little happy-go-lucky pantser in me just started typing away, running with the first thing that came to mind.

I’m just writing along – la la la – when I stumble on something. I sit up straight and stare at the screen, asking myself, ‘Is this where you want to take things?’ Well, yeah, it’s the perfect transition into the next plot point! I’m still not sure how it happened but it is sliding the story into the next phase without even trying that hard.

So I’m all pleased with myself when it hits me – again – that I live for those moments. A day ago I was panicking that everything I’d already written up to that point was awful and I’d probably just have to start all over again! But today I’m confident that it will all turn out all right. Funny how that happens.

And there was a hawk outside my window while I wrote, which somehow completed the circle of happiness.

What other surprises await me in this story? We’ll see, but this one turning point has charged me up to find out!

5 thoughts on “I Write Because I Love Surprises

  1. 3by3 writing method

    good luck i used to write like you but i would run into too many dead ends and would have to unwind (delete) many pages.

    My internal feeling is that those lucky individuals who write without plotting, actually have the plot already worked out, they just haven’t written it down

    Reply
    1. amyandthepen Post author

      Thanks! It can end in a big hot mess, which is why I do a lot more planning now than I used to. But I have to say I sometimes miss when I was more carefree about these things.

      Reply
  2. Tahlia Newland

    Yeah, I love those moments when the book seems to write itself, I still need some dot points so I know the general direction I’m going in though. The trick for me is to not be rigid about the plan – i think of it as a guide that I can depart from if you wish.

    Reply

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