Taking the long way around the novel. When will I learn?

Monday, June 16, 2014

You know how I don't outline my novels?

(I don't.)

How I want to be surprised by where they take me, by the weather that shows up, by the unforeseen turn?

(I do.)

Sometimes all that spontaneity can be a real big pain in the butt.

Like. Here I am, 175 pages into a new novel and this brand-new character shows up. She's lying on somebody else's bed. There's seashore sand blowing in with the breeze. There's an animal in a cage at her feet.

What the heck is she doing there?

And why oh why did I find her?

And do I really think there's any hope for this book if I can't keep it on the track I thought it was on?

Beth Kephart Novels: The work of a detour-ist.


Michael G-G said...

It's bloody hard work writing like this, but when we readers read you it is all seamless and beautiful and inspired, with no sense of the phantoms who show up on page 175 and demand to become part of the weave.

You're doing things your way, and it is good.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I don't outline either, but I do have an overall plan. I didn't get as far as you got before a new (brilliant, wily, and untrustworthy) character turned up. And now the plan changes. Fun, fun, fun, right?

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

In such cases, my question is, Why didn't she show up earlier?

Serena said...

Wow, that must be surprising. But I know that you will handle it well, as always.

I don't outline either.

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