Nothing goes according to plan. I think we’ve all had a book we were reading, where things went too smoothly, and you either went ‘meh.’ Or you started side-eyeing the plot wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. I mean – I also do this in real life. When things are going great, I start wondering what’s going to break. Usually the most expensive thing, but sometimes just the most inconvenient. And for variety, sometimes it’s me. I break. And then it gets interesting.
As a pantser, it doesn’t feel completely disingenuous to write about a character’s plans. Even though I’m fairly sure that like my own, they are going to take a wrong turn, more than likely before much if any of it is executed. And unlike in my life, the characters don’t break themselves. Often. Well, not usually. Mostly, there’s drama and conflict. In my life? It’s stress and lack of sleep, and honestly that’s not exciting to write about. No more than a description of the character’s poor choices in food and hydration leading to them being miserable and achy would be.
When I’m writing, I usually have a plan for the story in my mind. So I write out the character’s plan, naively thinking that I’ll be able to slip in some twists and turns… and then, what comes out is not what I planned. Usually, it’s better. Sometimes, it’s not. That’s when editing has to happen, and I don’t like editing.
writing is full of surprises, which is part of why I enjoy it so much. Like reading, at least when I’m reading a good book, I can’t quite see what’s around the corner. Until I read it, or write it. Not always the case – there are any number of books where I could see the denouement coming a mile away.
Funny how I would love to have that in real life, but in a book it makes for boring, flat, lifeless and probably going to wander off in search of a better story.
And on that note, if you are looking for a good read, check out this book giveaway. I’m honored to be taking part in this, where you can enter for a chance to win five signed books. Real paper books where you can sniff the paper and ink… DJ Butler, Sarah Hoyt, Rob Howell, Jagi Lamplighter, and myself. Want more than one chance? Read the instructions carefully, because in this one, you have several chances if you play your cards right!