At around week eight of the writing challenge I’m undertaking with my friend Kate, I realised something.
Something I probably should have realised a long, long time ago.
No, not that I can’t write (although I really do wonder sometimes).
It’s that I write like a reader. By that I mean the story that appears on the page is just as much of a surprise to me as if I were reading it rather than writing it.
On occasions I’ve planned, or tried to, but even then it’s very fluid. While I often have an ending in mind, the details of how to get there are quite often missing, which is obviously not ideal.
Having had this great revelation, you might assume that I went away and meticulously planned my latest work.
I just can’t seem to do it. It’s like I don’t want to know what will happen next in case it spoils it. Huh?
Maybe that means I am destined to be a reader rather than a writer?
On the plus side it does mean that I can change direction quite easily. My story features three main characters, Maddie, Matthew and Anna, but I was writing it from just one point of view to start with. Last week though, as I sat down to write, it was Anna’s voice that popped into my head (do I sound like I’m conducting a seance?). What have I got to lose? I thought and, after consultation with Kate, just went for it. I was quite pleased with the result (Kate said it brought tears to her eyes. Hopefully she meant in a good way.) but it meant re-writing the first two chapters so now each of them has a voice, taking it in turns.
It’s been rather exciting.
I go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it. I’ve been Googling things such as “temperature in LA in October”, “California bush fires”, “private jet hire” and
“flight time from LA to Nepal”. This has caused all sorts of interesting things to pop up on Facebook adverts – most often cheap flights to Nepal, which I would be very tempted by, if I could fly. (Incidentally, did you know it’s possible to get from Europe to Nepal overland? Just in case you were thinking of a trip you could plan for your 50th birthday in 10 years time.)
Anyway, the only thing missing is time to actually write, which is also why there haven’t been many blog posts this week.
Are you a planner? What do you get out of it? Besides an actual story.