Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have one distinct scene in my first book where a sentence reads like this:

Angel started walking toward them. He had no idea what he was going to say or do, but even the voice in his head couldn't stop him.
I think that voice was me saying,"Whoa whoa whoa! What's going on here? Where you going?" Because I REALLY had no idea what he was going to say or do. The scene literally ran away from me and wrote itself.

In the second book i had similar instances where that happened one of my characters actually says "Whoa!" because it's so unexpected. Now in my current WIP it keeps happening. It's a good thing sometimes because it works out like in my first book I'd been stuck for days on how to work that scene out and then it just happened. But sometimes I panic, No this can't happen! That is SO gonna complicate things!

Anybody else ever experience this phenomena? :eek:
 
G

·
This is because when you write fiction, your imagination is at work, and, your imagination, like an iceberg, is mostly submerged. As you exercise it, what is beneath the surface becomes clearer and finds itself in your draft or revision. It only SEEMS like the writing has a life of it's own--in actuality it's you doing it all; your imagination; your subconscious to a degree.  :-\
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
The first time a character took matters into his own hands and said something totally unexpected and took the story into a direction I hadn't foreseen, it really scared me. He suddenly seemed "alive," with a mind of his own. And one by one, the other characters began to come to life.

I was afraid to tell anyone about it, afraid the men in white coats would show up on my doorstep. But I told my sister, who is the real writer in the family, and she assured me, "Oh sure, that happens to writers all the time."

Whew!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MikeAngel said:
This is because when you write fiction, your imagination is at work, and, your imagination, like an iceberg, is mostly submerged. As you exercise it, what is beneath the surface becomes clearer and finds itself in your draft or revision. It only SEEMS like the writing has a life of it's own--in actuality it's you doing it all; your imagination; your subconscious to a degree. :-\
Totally makes sense.

Tommie Lyn said:
I was afraid to tell anyone about it, afraid the men in white coats would show up on my doorstep. But I told my sister, who is the real writer in the family, and she assured me, "Oh sure, that happens to writers all the time."

Whew!
Yes! This is exactly why I felt compelled to post this. *shifty eyes* I'm glad I'm not alone. The scariest part is like you said when it goes in a direction you in no way had planned it to go!

Kathleen Valentine said:
"Does it ever NOT?" is more to the point....
I don't think I noticed it so much before. It's suddenly happening a lot. Maybe the more I write, the more my imagination gets a work out and becomes MUCH more active.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
SCiofalo said:
If it didn't, I'd be worried!
Right. When it happened during writing of my first novel, it was scary. But today, today, I don't feel comfortable until the "coming to life" happens. I know the story won't be "alive" for readers unless the characters are alive for me.

And isn't it fun, letting your subconscious go?
Yes! It's almost as if someone is telling me the story and I'm just writing it down...it's a process of discovery...as much fun writing as it is reading someone else's story. (But that's in the first draft, when I don't have any idea yet what the story will be. Once the first draft's done and it's time for the rewrites to begin...bleh. Not so much fun.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
I find that when I begin a book I tend to have a clear picture of where I want to go; and then suddenly I'm off in another direction and keep discovering 'hooks' that open new doors.  That for me makes this a lot of fun.  The helicopter scene where my heroine has to disembark from a tree with a short skirt is just one thing that showed up and added some humor to my murder mystery A Murder in the Grand Canyon.

N
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
My current novel's like that. I had an actor and an agent, who were going to be the antagonists, and rather unpleasant characters. However, suddenly, the agent put his hand on the actor's shoulder, the actor put his hand on the agent's hand, before realising they were in public, and suddenly they became sympathetic characters whose love now drives the plot.  Not being gay myself, it was a bit nerve-racking at first, but I've lucky to have been able to ask people for help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
All the time!
I write in several different fiction genres, but even with a storyline I have planned and know exactly where it is headed, never ends up there once on paper. its all part of the fun I guess....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,362 Posts
I'd go this far: If your characters do NOT surprise you -- in their turns of dialogue, in their sudden decisions, in their personality quirks -- then you probably are holding the reins far too tight on your story. Your conscious mind is trying to beat your subconscious into submission, rather than relying upon it as a vital ally to the creative process.

Having written nonfiction all my life, I wasn't at all confident that I could write fiction. I actually feared that I was going to try to write my first novel too much "top-down" -- self-consciously tugging and pulling the characters around as if they were wooden marionettes on the strings of a highly structured plot.

I was sooooooo relieved to discover that, once I had the story and basic characters figured out, I could just turn them loose in a scene and see what happened. The result was a novel far richer and more rewarding than I had expected, and the feedback from readers has been a relief and joy.

So, yes. If your writing does not "take on a life of its own," then you are letting fear get in the way of storytelling. As Obi Wan said to Luke, "Trust your feelings, Luke.... Let go!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I've definitely experienced this, and I always view it as a nice surprise. It feels good to just let go and let the characters have a mind of their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
First happened to me in high school in a Book Which Shall Not Be Named.  A fantasy novel I'd planned for these characters to take these stolen magical items, one each.  Only the honorable god-fearing one says the equivalent of "I can't do that, stealing is against the gods, it is a sin."  I remember staring at the page afterwords and thinking "You're screwing up my plot you pious jerk!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Richard Raley said:
First happened to me in high school in a Book Which Shall Not Be Named. A fantasy novel I'd planned for these characters to take these stolen magical items, one each. Only the honorable god-fearing one says the equivalent of "I can't do that, stealing is against the gods, it is a sin." I remember staring at the page afterwords and thinking "You're screwing up my plot you pious jerk!"
That made me laugh, and I know exactly what you mean..!! ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Shhhh. Do you want the entire world to know that the magic of storytelling is nothing more than wackos with multiple personality disorders? ;)

Seriously, yes, and most times my characters go where I don't want them to go, so I make them suffer a barrage of hardships to get my revenge.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top