Some of the most amazing things happen while we’re writing. We might sit down to type a scene that we’ve worked out. An hour later, we’re creating another scene that came from nowhere, had not been planned, and might even take our characters in a different direction than we expected.
I love those moments, but I don’t know how they happen.
Some writers prefer to write from an outline. I’ve tried it, but my story never stays on track. My outline becomes a moving target, as dynamic as the novel manuscript.
My current novel-in-the-works first draft, which is almost finished, features a woman on the run. At the beginning of the story, she thinks she’s merely leaving her husband and wants to make sure he can’t follow her until she’s ready to talk to him. Everything goes wrong, of course, and my character ends up running from bad guys, the police, and eventually, the FBI.
Yesterday, at a moment in the story when I thought she was trapped and would probably end the scene in handcuffs, my character stepped it up a notch and got away.
I don’t know where the getaway idea came from. Although I know how the novel will end, I don’t know where my character is going in the next scene.
Today I’ll open the file and read yesterday’s work. If it stands up under second-day scrutiny, I’ll put my fingers on the keyboard and see what happens.
Do you experience writing that seems to come from your fingers instead of your mind? Is the idea fun, mysterious, or just creepy?