A couple months ago, I was publicly weighing the options of how to write book three of my trilogy. I first stated how great outlining was, though I rarely used it before. Then I followed that up by stating that I just need to discover where I’m going before I get there.
I’m not a good third way into my novel and I realize how ridiculous all of this sounded. I can’t plan or outline or discover anything until I start writing.
Writing is outlining. Writing is planning. Writing is discovering. At least it is for me.
I fretted and worried about where this story would be going. How silly it all seems now!
As I started writing, I have discovered ideas that I would never have thought of before. I came across plot shifts and surprising developments that even surprised me, the writer.
How does that work? How am I so blinded by my own story that it ends up surprising me?
It must be about a lack of development. When I outline an idea, it’s just a shell with not any structure standing around it. It sounds good at the time, but it’s hollow with no substance behind it.
Then I start writing. The first idea gets developed and that leads to a new set of objectives and details which I didn’t have in my writing bag before. So I shift gears and end up going in a direction which I couldn’t have anticipated.
When I’m not writing, it’s frightening because I can’t figure out what’s going to happen.
But when I’m writing, it’s exhilarating. It’s like walking down a virgin path in the woods and discovering a mysterious cave you never new was there. I don’t think I’ll doubt myself anymore. This is how I write. This is how I live. I can’t plan. I don’t know how to. All of my plans fall through as my never-ending brain shifts and changes at the whims of a new idea.
So I think I will strop trying to write like anyone else but myself.
I write to discover. Period. Foreever and ever. I’ll leave the outlining to those really smart writers who have a singular mind which doesn’t change.
I’ll continue to change with the whims of the air. And my mind.