How To Survive Writing The Story Which Wants To Show You Other Things #AmWriting #Writer

#w

I have been working on the draft of a story which is trying to show me other things.

This is new territory for me. Up until now I have done the ‘showing’ and my story has followed.

I was going to post this subject last week but I chickened out, thinking I must be the only writer in the universe going through this and some of you might say under your breath, “blimey – has she only just experienced this?”

Then I thought to myself, ‘oh what the heck! Everyone’s writing journey is different and so what if it’s taken me four years of writing seriously to let go of the controls for a bit!’

Up until now I have been a writer who sticks RIGIDLY to what she believes is the final destination of a story.

I don’t allow myself to stray from the path.

I have the story in mind, I sit down and write that story.

In hindsight the last few years feel like I have been proving to myself I can write a story.

The ZILLION stories I have written up until now have always been obedient.

And then this story appeared.

It’s like an invisible hand is pushing me towards other things, which I was initially quick to dismiss; in this case, a hole in a wall.

Now, I know a lot of you writers would have been straight over to investigate a strange hole in a wall. I also know some of you out there, who read my blog, names withheld, would have raced over and tried to stick your curious heads through the hole to see whether there was anything interesting behind it.

Seriously in the beginning I was more concerned about a romance. This is what happens when you are a romance writer. You are so busy casting your fictional love wand you miss other things.

In previous drafts I had been desperately trying to bring my main female MC (who is a little odd) and the man who lived upstairs (who is also…unique) together, but something hadn’t worked. I had also FAILED to do anything with a strange hole in her flat wall. *Gasp!*

Don’t ask me when the hole in the wall arrived. In my drafts it’s not unusual for random objects to show up. *Creative Sigh*

Anyway, on this draft the hole starts getting bigger. I was DRAWN to this hole in the wall. Every time I showed up to write, my draft would open up at the scene featuring the hole, everything on TV, when I wasn’t writing, featured walls of some description and all my creative muse wanted to do was…hang around this hole. 

This is a conversation between my creative muse and I:

Me: “Come on, let’s go have some romantic fun!”

Muse: “You go on, I am just going to hang around here.”

Me: “WHAT? You just want to hang around a hole in a wall? Are you feeling alright?”

Muse: “This hole is actually quite interesting!”

Me: “Look, this story is romance, NOT DIY FICTION!”

Muse: “There is no need to shout in capitals. You need to let your creative blonde hair down and check out this hole!”

Me: *EYE ROLL* 

Muse: “You can stop all that eye rolling business! Look, I am trying to show you there is more to life than romance.”

Me: *Sharp intake of breath* “How dare you say that!”

Muse: “It is true. Check out this hole and you will find out.”

Me: “Huh! I am going over here to make my characters gaze longingly into each other’s eyes, sigh a lot and talk romantic gibberish.”

Muse: “I will be waiting for you to change your mind.” *Eye wink*

Me: “You will be waiting a long time.”

Five minutes later…

Me: “Do you want to talk to me about this hole? DIY fiction could be the next big thing!”

There is actually a bigger meaning to the mysterious hole, which is increasing in size. I realised this after a small (lasted 3 days) emotional breakdown over the direction this draft was heading in.

So, I put down my romance writer tools to go check out the hole. Well, to my surprise the minor characters who live on the other side of the wall / hole were actually quite interesting. Yes, they were a bit rough edged and loud, but they were quite a discovery.

Suddenly things take a new turn and a different and unexpected direction opens up.

I leap onto the messaging thread I have with my writer friends.

Should I ignore the hole and the interesting characters peering through it?

Should I stick to my final destination?

I am a romance writer and this is straying into unfamiliar territory.

One of my writer friends said..

‘It is challenging you. These characters are doing this because you’re ready as a writer to go there. You’re digging deeper as an artist.’

The story has changed AND I don’t think it just wants to show me the wall. There are other things buried within this tale and I get the feeling it is keen to show me these as well.

Have you ever had a story show you other things?

Keep writing all x

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

24 thoughts on “How To Survive Writing The Story Which Wants To Show You Other Things #AmWriting #Writer

  1. There are aspects of the creative process that are controlled by the artist, and there are other aspects that are out of the artist’s control. This sounds like the latter, and definitely worth following. The hole on the wall may be a gateway to your best and most realized work.

  2. You have been lucky if you are only now experiencing this, but don’t worry, only good things can come out of it. Being one of the nosiest people on this planet, I have to investigate everything that wafts past my nose. It can slow me down sometimes, but I have found some wonderful opportunities along the way!

  3. Go hole! There’s gold in them apertures… go sneak a peek, take a chance with a glance. Who knows where your little unloved vortex might take you… actually, I’m not sure I should have written that. but it has to be worth a look

      1. Totally! That kinda happened with my story! Half of what I wrote wasn’t in the original plan but it wanted to be told!

  4. I’m a firm believer in the writer being in control, totally, but I think what happens is that sometimes you actually don’t realise the points you’re making (I’m often surprised by what reviewers write about my books!), and also, yes, I think it means you’re actually ready to move on from light romance. It happens. I can think of loads of indie writers who’ve written rom coms for ages then started to move to something darker, more intense. I tried writing chick lit once, when it was in its heyday, and I just couldn’t do it. Within a few pages, the main character was having complex inner wrangles.

    My default setting is complicated family/relationship stuff, but I’ve found that my ‘writing path’ has taken me from medium intensity family drama, to darker family drama, to murderous intent, to serious psychopathy, to serious psychopathy in an end-of-world scenario! Of course you develop; this is what is happening, just go with it! If you do it gradually, your readers move on with you. Most of them; you will never find that all of them do, no one ever does, but you pick up new ones. And there are many human relationships that are more interesting to write about than the first flushes of love.

    Good luck!!

    1. Great thought provoking comment Terry. I do feel I am transitioning but not sure what into. The first flushes of love don’t set my heart racing anymore and at first this was quite scary. But now, I am seeing what does make my heart race and telling myself, ‘this is all part of the journey’.

      1. To be honest, I think there are only so many ways you can write the first flushes of love. For a long time now I’ve thought of chick lit/romcom as fairy tales for grown ups – it always reminds me of when I used to go to the library, years ago before chick lit was called chick lit, and I’d see all these very non-heroine type women clustering around the Mills and Boon shelves! Finding out what does get you excited to write about is very interesting, yes. I’ve found that one of the scenarios I love to write is the ‘male douchebag’. And the odd hidden psychopath 😉

  5. I think it’s a very good sign! When your characters start to do unpredictable things or completely unexpected things happen, you’re in “the flow.” 🙂

  6. I’m not sure I have had this in the same way you have but I have always wondered about minor characters in stories and how interesting they could be. This gets up my nose a lot when watching some tv series where you have this main character taking up 75% of the plot, the second taking 20% and the poor others taking up the rest with their standard lines and I think hmmm… what’s their story?

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