Posted on March 22, 2008 - by MG
Some writers like to have a vague idea where they’re going when they write and make it up as they go along, some writers like to spend a great deal of time with the plotting and planning.
I’m one of the planners. I’ve tried it the other way – with me it tends to produce plot structures that lack sufficient impact at the key points. So now, I plan.
But a story also has needs to have some magical, organic quality; something that feels as though it crept in by itself, wasn’t calculated into the mix from the start. Even if actually, it was…
Every writer has their own way of factoring in that magical bit. I suspect we all discover it on our own. Mind-altering substances might do the trick, but that’s a bit risky…
My own ‘method’ came from the realisation that even working to a structured plot, there was still room for movement. So even my ‘finished’ plot plans are in fact only about 85% of the way there.
The last 15% has to be found during the writing. And with me, it is always inspired from outside.
It seems to be something about understanding what makes you tick and connecting something in the story with that.
Without getting too psychoanalytical, we all have something deep down that we really care about and drives us. Some people are very self-aware; they know what this is…the kind of people who care deeply about politics or religion…are probably going to write books that reflect their thoughts on that.
But if lie me you’re generally vague and mixed-up, it’s a bit more complicated!
However, by accident, I did find the way to extract this magic final 15%. And so far it has worked every time.
I’m not telling though! Nope; that’s going to be my secret.
Here’s a clue though, one thing that inspired me today, in finding the some of the magic 15% for Joshua book 3.
It’s a picture by Remedios Varo, a Mexican artist, a surrealist painter of fantastical works. A close friend of mine in Mexico City introduced me to her work when we were teenagers. I remember a very happy afternoon we spent together in the Museum of Modern Art in Chapultepec looking at these paintings…
The painting above is called Naturaleza Muerta Resucitado which translates as ‘Natural Death Resuscitated’.