Friday, August 29, 2008

Embracing The Unexpected

Almost every writer I know has had the experience of starting to fall asleep and in that twilight moment, thinking of some brand new element for their WIP. Could be a plot twist, a new characters, a different decision...pretty much anything. Personally, I keep a notepad by the bed for occasions like this because if I don't write it down, it disappears come morning.

Last night I had a thought about my story that was wild and dark and admittedly a little crazy. I allowed myself to think it through, playing out the new twist in the scene I'm writing to see how it would unfold, then decided it was too "out there" and to just let it go, so I didn't write it down.

I woke up at 5:27 AM still thinking about it. That got me thinking about something else - embracing the unexpected. Why shouldn't I at least give this new idea a shot? See how it plays out? At worst, it will cost me a few pages and some time. At best, it will strengthen the story, surprise the reader and add a very interesting new element. Not to mention create more conflict.

Too often, I think writers feel like they can't do something too new for fear of moving beyond the comfort zone of what's currently being published. We're told editors want the same but new. Wow, that's easy to comprehend. lol I say don't just step outside the box, smash the box with a hammer and rebuild it into a set of stairs. See where it takes you. Let the unexpected be your guide. This new idea might freak people out. I'm okay with that. (Especially since I've accessed my dark and twisty side with this new book.)

Have you ever told yourself no when it came to a new idea? Have you ever given one a shot and found it worked really well? Do you embrace the unexpected when it comes to story twists and turns?


  1. Awesome! I'm always looking for "different" in authors I read. Unfortunately, I'm dull and predictable. LOL!

  2. Great post, Kristen. I have played it safe way too often. I love the idea of smashing the box!

  3. You are just rockin' it! My current WIP I've made my hero such @**hole I'm afraid it's almost too much and I feel the need to soften him up.

    But then again I need to show the transformation and the reason why he's such a you-know-what. Not that I'm breaking the rules or anything but it feels good to just write this character like I feel he should be written vs. how I think others want him written.

    Did that make sense? I'm tired. I've been up since 5 a.m......