Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Praise of Spontaneity

In a former life my spices were alphabetized, my books were arranged according to the  Library of Congress classification, and my schedule was as finely tuned as Paul McCartney's guitar.

Then I had kids. Oh, wait, this is supposed to be a post about writing. 

Only I can't separate the two.

God has called me to write, but before that he's called me to be a wife and mom. So how do I shift gears from D'Nealian handwriting to actually setting the example myself by sitting down with pen and paper?

This writer is addicted to plotting. Yes, I admit it. My sweet husband shelled out for some software to organize your plot down to every jot and tittle. And I love using it. I spent many, many hours plotting my novel.

Then my characters began to develop. My word count was not matching up to what I had anticipated. And those evolving characters just didn't want to behave.

Because quite frankly, my characters are smarter than I am...so I just allowed them to take over.

Honestly, my writing time is quite limited these days and I prefer to spend all of it writing. Because if you're not having fun, why bother?

I have been enjoying my writing in a new way since I've allowed spontaneity.

Have your characters ever taken your plot in a direction you didn't expect?


Debra Chapoton, author said...

My characters ALWAYS take the plot direction away from me. When I put my writing down for the day I can't wait to get back to it tomorrow to see what's going to happen next.

Julia Reffner said...

I dont think I've ever met a decent character that behaved itself.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Fun post, Julia! I sooo get what you mean about kids changing things. :) And I've found myself being more spontaneous in my writing too...I like a framework, but maybe not as much plotting direction as I once thought I needed.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I'm branching out in a new form of spontaneity this month. I'm most definitely plotter. Even with kids. For the last six weeks, I have plotted and organized my story so I could attempt to write fast, organized scenes for NaNo. Would you believe on my very first morning of writing, one of my characters, who I thought would be holding secrets close to the vest is letting it all hang out? We've only just met the guy. Sigh. This promises to be a fun month of writing for the organizer. :) Enjoyed the post, Julia!

Julia M. Reffner said...

@ Debbie,

I love that feeling!!

Julia M. Reffner said...

@ Sarah,

Yes, children have changed everything about my life and most definitely writing.

Julia M. Reffner said...

@ Jeanne,

Cheering you on for NANOWRIMO!! Sounds like your characters are re-educating you like mine do to me. :) God definitely gives us so many learning moments along the way.