Switching up

My writers’ weekend was fantastic. We did all the usual things and even the weather cooperated. It was supposed to be gloomy and in the 40s, but we got sun and 50s. I was able to do my “thinking walks” and “thinking paddles” and my friends and I all got lots of writing done.

My output was over two chapters and over 5000 words, which is great for a slow writer like me. Note my nifty Progress Meter. Yes, this story will get done eventually, even if by then everyone will be sick of hearing about it. 🙂
Click to view daily statistics

I’ve also reached a spot where I’m no longer confident about what comes next. I’m usually a combination of plotter and pantser. I start with a plot and though I often deviate when a better idea hits, I’m always aware of the overall arc that I planned out at the beginning. This time, it feels different, as if the right ending is behind a wall of fog. I can’t see ahead and it’s a little unsettling. But one thing I’m taking away from this weekend is that I can trust these characters. I have a hunch that if I keep moving forward, one scene at a time, they’ll do better things than if I try to follow the outline.

It’s a little weird and a little scary, but it also feels like some sort of breakthrough. Or is it the euphoria a bungee jumper feels just before she realizes the cord is a tad long?

Have you ever felt a compulsion (for which you can find no rational basis) to do something differently than you have in the past?  Did it work out for you?  I hope some of you say yes!
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Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

I need a progress meter too!! I think it would be so helpful to see it in a concrete way like that, especially when it feels like a project is never going to end…

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

I think the answer is to trust your own instincts, Elena. Every book is different and if your gut tells you that the characters will lead you, then they will.

Magical things have happened in my writing when I have not planned too extensively.


10 years ago

Trust your instincts, Elena. Occasionally, my characters have hijacked a story. I’ve let them, and I’ve always been glad that I did. Their path and choices made the story better than it probably would have been.

10 years ago

So far, only when riding roller coasters or other thrill rides. I really can’t handle them, but every once in a while the mood will strike and I’ll do it. I spend the next week wondering what triggered the temporary insanity.

It has nothing to do with writing, but is a lot like the bungee cord jump.

Elena Greene
10 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement!

Pat, this is feeling like riding one of those roller coasters that are built inside a building and are half in the dark, so you don’t know when and where the spins and drops are coming. Pretty cool.

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