Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Expectations

Don't forget: The 'All White For Twilight' contest is open till the 31st of October. Remember to get your entries in for those exclusive UK limited edition white copies of The Twilight Saga. They are so pretty. Promise. :)

Oh, and a huge thank you for the awesome chat yesterday on magic limitations. It was frawesome.

And now back to your regular scheduled programme.

As kids we grow up being expected to do certain things.

Walk, talk, read, go to school and work hard. Then we have to get jobs, have relationships, maybe marry and have babies. The list is long (I can't see a cookie clause on there anywhere either).

Sniff.

Should we feel bad if these things don't happen the way we thought or follow a linear pattern? No, because we have a brilliant way of adapting to the twisty journey of life. We take it as it comes.

Not happy at work? Get a new job/career/or switch departments.
Hate the wallpaper in the living room? Redecorate...or get some small child to draw a mural on it in crayon.

So when we write are our expectations any different?

We set out to write a story and expect our novel will turn out a certain way. We give birth to these characters, and they live through our words. We create their world around them.

As literary parents we help them grow. We expect they'll run into some conflict, meet someone, fall in love, get their hearts broken...maybe even fight some sort of giant squid monster who wants to rule the world.

That is, until a plot twist surprises us, and we go in another direction.

A character pops into our heads we weren't aware of and throws us off course. Or our MC says, 'Are you crazy? I wouldn't do that.'

Should we feel bad for not following the specific course we set out on?

I've learnt that writing doesn't always go from A to B. It likes to be mischievous. Sometimes it forces us to take a trip through G, D, F and back to A before reaching B.

It also raises questions on the expectations we have before we enter the world of edits, queries, submissions and the hundreds of other things that go with the author journey.

That isn't A to B either.

There's a whole world of perseverance, re-writes, edits (and more queries) before we reach our agent destination. Or, Agent Avenue as I have named it. :)

Then the journey begins a new path...Publication Road.

So why do we do it? Because we know the destination is at the end, but the journey can take as many paths as you are willing to walk to reach Bookshelf City.

And, maybe even, re-evaluate our expectations to get there. :)

4 comments:

  1. Great post! Life's never as we expect it, and that's what makes it so exciting. Writing's the same, even for us plotters. We never know when something unexpected will happen.

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  2. *claps enthusiastically* Well said, Lindsay! I actually love this part of my writing (except when I have to delete 8 pages of new writing because my character accidentally banded with the villain and I got WAY off course). But mostly it's kind of fun to see my expectations dwarfed by the creativity that doesn't seem to be coming from me anymore.

    But publishing expectations... yeah. You said it better than I could. Great post!

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  3. Love this post! Yep, the road is a twisty little bugger, but it sure is a fun ride.

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  4. Just wanted to update. I'm at 12,039 words. I started at about 4,810 on 10/01.

    I've been inspired to write 1k a day, so I'm glad you guys set this up. The writing journey isn't linear - it's got stops and starts.

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