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:~: Saturday, June 30, 2007 :~:

Going Off Road - The Good, The Bad, The Really, Really Ugly

If I ever have to sell on proposal I will be in deep do-do. It's no secret I can't write a suckopsis to save my life. Wait. Correction. I can write a suckopsis prior to writing the book, though the book will end up being nothing like the suckopsis. Which, my pubbed friends tell me, is really no big deal.

(Maybe I'm doing things right after all???)

The-book-that-will-never-end has taken a strange twist. I ended up writing a scene the other night that went in the opposite direction I'd planned. (Bye, bye suckopsis.) I'm always amazed when this happens. It's like my brain automatically knows what has to happen, even though I'm trying to force the book to go in a different direction. When I finished the scene, I immediately thought, what the heck did I just do? Then I stepped back, let it sink in and realized, Wow. That was so cool. How the heck did I just do that? And voila! just like that I knew how the book was going to end. Not anywhere near where I'd thought it would end (in plot OR location).

So now I have hope that the-book-that-will-never-end might just have an ending after all. I'd hoped to have it done by Nationals. Probably won't happen. But I'm going to be very, very close (not counting rewrites and edits, and oh, my God, all those threads I have to fix).

Have you ever had this happen? Have a scene totally pop out that you didn't plan and send your book in a different (better) direction?

Labels:

15Comments:

Blogger Paty Jager said...

Yes. Several times. LOL I think that is the beauty of not being a plotter. Even though I have an idea of where I want the story to go, it doesn't always happen. In fact things can do a total turn around.

Congrats on the new direction and better scene/story!

8:34 PM  
Blogger Lexi said...

Um, yeah. I was on page 150 of a book that I knew EXACTLY how it was going to end. Except the villain told me he was really the hero, just a jerk sometimes. I finally listened and went in the direction my hero AND heroine demanded and that book was my first contest win and request. (Of course, it didn't sell, though.)

Can't say it's happened lately, though. It sounds like you like where it took you, though. Good luck with it!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm not sure I could write a synopsis before writing the book. I am definitely a pantster, and other than a few key moments, I have no idea what's going to come out until it happens.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I always have an outline at the start of the book, just one or two pages, but I don't mind if the story changes, I just like knowing there is a workable beginning, middle and end before I start. Good luck on finishing before National :) .

12:44 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Oh, heck...that whole scene turn-around thingy happens to me all the time.

Big difference is--my in-th-moment scenes typically suck, and I find I end up back at my original version of plot, shaking my head, mad at myself for wasting the time and thinking..."What was I thinking?"

8:05 PM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

Hey, Eli, I like your blog site! I answered this on the Mid-Willamette loop, but have been thinking about it since then. I think it happens to all writers! Better ideas just happen, but I've also had my share of experiences like Joan Swan where the diversions turn out to be side trips, like going 90 miles off the highway to see the world's biggest dust bunny and finding a sign reading, road closed up ahead (or worse, the wind came along and blew said dust bunny to Kansas.)

I digress. But that's the point, right?
Alice

8:30 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Paty. But you're not a total non-plotter like me. You're more of a planster. ;)

9:31 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

ROFL, Lexi! I love heroes who aren't your normal run of the mill good guys.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Michelle. And way to go on finishing your wip! I saw that on your blog the other day and I thought, "you know, if she can do it, so can I." ROFL. It's going to be down to the wire. ;)

9:33 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

J, that goes to prove that we're all different. See, a lot of times my "plotted" scenes end up that way. LOL!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Alice. ;) I love the dust bunny analogy. Okay, I've had that happen too, but more often than not it's the other way around. I'm getting better and realizing when I'm going off-road in a bad way.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Edie said...

Alice and Eli, I've got the world's biggest dust bunnies right in my house. Every once in a while, my cat darts under the bed, and I'm afraid a dust bunny will get her. *g*

Eli, I'm revising my book--most of the first half needed rewriting, but I really liked my second half. But while rewriting my first half, I went in an entirely different direction. I was hoping to save some of the scenes, and don't know how I'm going to do this. The ending will still work, but not sure if anything else will. I think I like the new direction, though. I'm hoping my subconscious can figure it out.

Good luck on finishing!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Kris Eton said...

Which author was it who said to plan out too much ahead of time actually kills the story? I can't remember. She doesn't do any character worksheets or big time plotting. She says she lets the characters reveal themselves as she writes.

And this, I found out, is how it works for me. I have a vague notion of my character. Maybe some background detail that defines them...but that's it. Then, I start writing, and I find out all sorts of interesting things about my character. What scares her, what she likes to eat, her history. It reveals itself without me even thinking about it.

That is the wild thing about writing. How could it be my brain KNOWS how to write this stuff and make it up without me even being AWARE of it?

I could write a vague synopsis if I had to. Something that would be like the back of the book blurb with the ending included. But to write a fully fleshed out synopsis to sell a book to a publisher? Not so sure about it...

7:28 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Edie, that's great. Sometimes books just don't go the way we plan. And that's okay. I've found it's a whole new process with each book I write.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

How could it be my brain KNOWS how to write this stuff and make it up without me even being AWARE of it?

Kris, I'm the same way. I love having these aha! moments. When I think, "wow. When I wrote that, I had no idea how that was going to work in, but it did." Makes me feel like I'm doing something right. ;)

6:20 PM  

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