We’ve all heard the term, “Think outside the box”, what about writing outside the plot box?
Here’s the thing, there’s a sense of safety by staying within the structure of a pre-determined plot. You’ve done your pre-writing work, you have your characters, their motivations, their history, you’ve got your first third, second third, and last third of your plot set, you know where the darkest moment exists, and how your protag triumphs and grows. You are now ready to rock this story…
Until the unthinkable happens…the story goes off the rails.
Wails of agony and gnashing of teeth ensues. You may even toss the computer you so loved a few weeks/months earlier out the nearest window, uncaring of the replacement costs. How dare your story do this! The path was clear, this was NOT SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN.
Now what is the poor, beleaguered writer to do?
Go with it, follow those rails and see where they lead. You might discover the shiny rock you thought was the diamond, is nothing but cubic zirconia. The real story diamond was hiding down on the left, just past the avalanche of sub-plots and hidden character motivations. That teasing sparkle, that’s the one that’s going to take your story to a new level, and maybe, just maybe take the writer along with it. That one niggling thing that wasn’t quite working, it now all makes sense. That gnarly knot keeping things murky and hollow, you’ve found that one move that lays it out in a beautiful complex pattern.
One of the best things about being a writer, is finding these hidden traps in your own writing. The journey to escape them adds layers to your writing, and who can complain about a story with unexpected depths?
*whispering behind my hand* I don’t think any of your readers will.
Viva imagination, honor those unexpected paths and let your characters led you, you might like what’s at the end.