Reroute

Published May 31, 2022 by swankivy

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I get lost easily. I’m not so good at following written directions. It’s very hard for me to figure out what path makes sense to get me from Point A to Point B.

But with writing, I usually don’t even know the Point B when I start at Point A. So looking at a map would be pretty useless if I don’t actually know before I start where I’m planning to go.

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with choosing a destination (and a few stops along the way). If I’m sure I definitely want to go there.

But honestly, being a pretty hardcore pantser, the route AND the destination are typically chosen by the characters in the car, and a road trip that’s supposed to feel planned by them will end up feeling planned by ME if I give them a GPS with preprogrammed directions speaking up and breaking into their conversation every few miles. I feel like I’m trying to sit in the backseat with them when I’m not a character. I have trouble making it feel authentic if I’m not creating the story from within their perspective as it’s happening.

That road is DEFINITELY prone to becoming long and winding when you haven’t chosen the destination. And I guess I’ve accepted that. But sometimes I still wonder if I’d ever be able to outline a book and be happy with the results. . . .

One comment on “Reroute

  • Many fiction authors have noted the same thing – that characters make their own decisions. However, when there is any “world building” (like the -1 multiverse), sci-fi, or fantasy elements – then they have manual for the world they’ve put the characters in to keep it consistent. If they become popular enough, they even organize and sell the manual later. 🙂

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