Sudden flashes of inspiration and gift-giving.

Just a quick thought today: put everything you’ve got into the first draft, because you don’t know what will pop out at the end. What I mean is, don’t edit yourself thinking “this doesn’t really have a place here.” You can always pull out those a loose threads later, but in the early stages you don’t know the loose threads from the tightly woven fabric. My current work in progress was going along fine when I had a major snow storm hit the city the main character was in. No reason for it, just a huge snow storm. I thought, at the time, “Don’t know if I should keep this.” Later, in a flashback scene, I found the character running through a building which had been scarred by arson, and which was catching fire again. The fire is put out using fire extinguishing foam. No particular reason why foam, but it was there. As I described how the foam covered everything I realized that it had inadvertantly made everything look as if it was covered in snow, building a very nice bridge back to the present events. The fire, the arson, the snow, the fire-extinguisher. None of those were planned, but they worked together to create a nice web of images that help with the internal drive of my main character.
They are what a writing teacher referred to as “gifts a writer gives to themselves.” By not forcing my writing into a certain path, by allowing the unexpected, I gave myself room to breath later on.

3 thoughts on “Sudden flashes of inspiration and gift-giving.

  1. I’ve never really believed it’s out of the writer’s control when characters do the unexpected. But there is a synchronicity involved in good writing. The trick is getting out of your own way long enough to let your subconscious do its magic. Good post.

Leave a Reply