Thursday, August 18, 2005

Decisions, decisions...

Once again, I'm into the first draft of a novel. That's both good and bad and exciting.

What's good is the freedom to make choices about how I'm going to tell my story. Even though I have a basic outline that my editor has approved, very little is carved in stone and there are still many things that can change in the telling.

That means, though, there are plenty of decisions to be made as I go from Point A to Point B, etc., to the end of the story. If I decide A happens, then X, Y and Z can result. If I choose B to happen, then L, M, N, or P might happen. All can take me to the next point, but in different permutations. This sort of choice can get exhausting after awhile!

And then I have to actually write my way from Point A to Point B to the end of the story, and in a way that makes sense, at a non-slumber-inducing pace and according to the characters I've chosen to live this particular story. As anybody who's ever tried to write a book will know, that ain't easy.

But then sometimes, suddenly, an idea about the story pops into my head as if from nowhere. I realize C might happen -- wow! And if that happens -- oh, boy! Or I "discover" something about a character that suddenly puts a whole new light on that character's actions, or fears, or desires.

There's nothing quite like the excitement of those "surprise" moments. They're the moments I live for as a writer. That's when my job becomes wonderful and I know I'm doing what I should be doing.

Here's hoping I surprise myself some more as Ranulf arrives at that crumbling castle in Cornwall....

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