Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Discovery: "Ooh, look what I found!!"

We have little moments of discovery every day of our lives. For example, today I discovered that I absolutely cannot read a book while I'm doing the laundry. If I do, I will never know when the washer stops.

I also discovered that the catering service I work for makes breakfast burritos.

Another one: there are people in this world that play out weddings with their dogs.


Though these discoveries can have an affect on our lives (I will never look at a pekingese dog the same again...), they're not the kinds of discoveries I want to talk about. I want to talk about FIRE!

Sometimes we're just playing around with our WIP, testing our characters, getting to know them, having fun (yes, writing can still be fun!) when all of the sudden something jumps out at us. Something BIG. I mean oh-my-gosh-I-have-to-add-another-book-to-my-series-big. Okay, it doesn't always have to be that big, but you get what I mean.

The problem is, a lot of the time authors choose to ignore these moments of inspiration. They're so close to their goal that they don't want to have to deal with a new character or plot point, even if it will greatly enhance their story. That's when you get books that seem rushed and incomplete.

Personally, I had a trilogy and a prequel planned for my series. I was almost through writing the prequel (for background research) when someone pointed out to me that the story was moving waayy too fast. When I sat down and thought about it, she was right. Thus, book one became two books.

Is this a lot more work? Heck, yes! But totally worth it in the end.

What kinds of discoveries have you made in your writing? Has it changed the way you approach a first draft?



  1. Ha! People perform wedding ceremonies for their dogs? Crazy!
    I've learned a lot about my writing, mostly that I try to do too much. I have to simplify things to make my story clear and concise. My first drafts are usually cut in half by the time I get through with them.

  2. I totttally love your posts, this one especially. And working for a catering business sounds hectic but fun. Is it? And I think listening to what works and doesn't for your WIP is SO important, but it can be frustrating at times too for sure

  3. Dog weddings? Wow. I am ... speechless. But I love your point about jumping into inspiration enthusiastically, instead of stalling because it might mean more work!

  4. I love those kinds of discoveries. I've been writing characters before and all the sudden they say something I didn't plan and I think, "Wow, I didn't know that about you."

  5. I definitely try to follow inspiration when it strikes. I love working on a project that I can turn into a series because I love my characters and I want to see what the world has in store for them.

    I'm also working on a joint project with another writer. We have plans for a series with at least eight books, but are always looking for ways to expand beyond that. I think we both love the idea of watching our characters grow throughout the series because even as their creators, we aren't quite sure what lessons they need to learn or how they will handle it and that's all part of the fun of writing!


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