Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winds of Change

So the seed idea that began my WIP was a scientific article that I read in Time Magazine a few years back that stayed in my mind all this time.  Oddly enough, when I made my resolution to really commit to my writing, this idea forced its way past all of my beginnings and partials and demanded to be heard.  It unfolded right before my eyes, and excited me to no end.

Then I started writing.  My scene in the middle worked out nicely, I just went back to the beginning last week, and then it happened.

My story had other ideas.

WIP was acting ridiculously like a willful teenager.  My main character was becoming less a sketch and more a colored-in person.  And she was telling me the story from her POV (she made the decision for me, in that scene from the middle, to write in first person).  And the story was fitting together and making perfect sense.  But she was steering in a different direction.

And it didn't include my original science-y seed idea.  The one I had done all of the research for. 

Now, I don't mind that I did the research for no reason.  It was interesting anyway.  But this little fear began to grow in my stomach, one that I haven't had since this extremely positive new WIP began.  Can I drop the seed idea?  But it was so cool!  And so interesting!  And it's a real thing that people don't know about!
For lack of better terms, I thought my story was losing its "cool factor". Which left me with a decision to make.  Do I make it work with the "cool factor", or do I let the teenage protagonist have her way?

I lost a few writing days as I ruminated on that.  But that's ok, I am completely allowing myself thinking time. 

Today, I explained it all to Handsome Hubby.  He and I had talked out my original story idea and he was all about it, so I wondered how he would receive the subtraction of cool factor.  We sat here, just now, watching more feet of snow fall, and I told him the entire reworked story idea.  It works.  When I allowed myself to take out the original idea, I removed doubts and connections that were not being made and I consciously decided not to force the story.

I know I've said this over and over in my posts, but I feel this crazy rebirth as a writer with this story.  My approach is so much more relaxed and I am hearing my characters and listening.  All of you writers out there are always saying that; I guess as a beginner I had to figure it out for myself to truly understand what you meant and feel the difference between how I used to write and what is happening this time.

(For the record, when I first told HH that I was taking it out, he looked stunned, but when I explained the story, he got all excited and asked questions and even got goosebumps!  See why I love this man?)


Shelley Sly said...

Aww! How wonderful that your husband is so involved in your writing process. That's really special. :)

I've been there and done that with my characters taking my story in a different direction, though probably not as drastic as your situation. But that's a good sign. I think your writing will come out more authentic now that your character has a larger say in it.

Best of luck writing!

Nicole Ducleroir said...

The magic of writing is the way a project takes on a life of its own. What you described has happened to me. I was actually typing madly and at the same time screaming "NO!" at the computer screen. I didn't want the MC to react the way she was. And how on earth that sideline character wiggled his way into the scene and promoted himself to secondary character in the act, I'll never know. I guess we don't really write, we channel. Which is kind of cool, right?

Good luck with your project!!

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Shelley - This is the first time I've really used my hubby as a sounding board for my writing. Don't know why I never did it sooner. All I can say is that I am doing things very differently this time around and he likes the genre I am writing (although he's more of a movie watcher, he was like, "Oh my gosh, you have to watch this and this and this movie to help describe that and that in your story..." Lol :) Me, I have a hard time sitting through movies, I'm much more of a reader. I agree with you about the authenticity, though! That's why I decided to go with it.

Nicole, you are so right. It's wacky! I've never had this happen before, or at least to this extent, and I guess I never trusted my characters enough before to follow them instead of sticking to my plan. Scary but fun! LOL about screaming at the screen - I know how you felt! Well, now I guess if my story stinks, I can blame it on my MC... :)

Shelley Sly said...

This is a silly follow-up comment, but I have a hard time sitting through movies too! Reading for hours? No problem. Wonder why that is.

Christine Danek said...

It is so nice your hubby listens to you about your writing. I love my hubby but unless I'm making money this is just a hobby to him and should not interfere with anything else. Little does he realize that besides him and my kids--this little nugget is one of my most prized possessions. I refuse to stop and will do anything to continue. :)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Christine - I wanted to email you but I couldn't find an address. I'm sorry that your hubby doesn't take your writing more seriously. Mine says I could take time off to write full time and he'd get a second job... but I wouldn't do that. Things would change a lot without my income and right now we are only using my benefits (although we could use his), and I can't in good conscience give up my teacher pension (even though with our crazy state govt, it might not be there when I retire). I just feel like our finances would take such a hit, and I don't even know if my writing will sell! Plus.. I just read a really depressing post on someone else's blog about an agent warning her clients not to quit their day jobs even if they have THREE published books out there - the income is just not enough.


Anyway, fear not. I have found great comfort in the support system of not only my family, but also the awesome writer-bloggers like us who are all finding each other and cheering each other on.

Hey, I read your snippet... you'll make it. :)