At least that is my experience. E.L. Doctorow had it right. The story being told often surprises the author. You round a curve, headlights on, only to discover a divergent sequence of events unfolding. I think for me it is God’s way of humbling me. Oh, you thought, Max was headed to Knoxville. Where did that log truck come from?
Writing this I realize that if you’ve met one writer, you have met one writer. Not all, maybe not any, experience writing a short story or novel, like I do. Some authors exercise precise control over characters, plot, setting, the whole design set before putting the story into words.
I plan, but I glimpse only a twinkling light at the end of the tunnel. I plan, but the story finds new characters who deserve attention, perhaps more attention than I care to give them. I plan but the most joyful experience happens when the words, images, characters carry on as my fingers tap the keys. With Braking Points daily I printed the new pages and read them to my husband. Together, he and I, for he is a far better editor than I am, eliminated words, corrected grammar and awkward sentences. He was and is my greatest encourager. Watching him react to the plot kept me going for it said at least one person on earth liked the story. A sprinkle of magic happened in those times. We both became involved with the characters, often discussing them as if they were real. And therein lies the mystery and the magic of writing fiction. Truth emerges, even in make believe. The stories around us fuel the imagination and fire up the engines to create. So that, what we write like what we read takes us places that are as real as the air we breathe.
Let me encourage you whatever your method of prep and writing to look for the stories, listen to the stories already blooming in your mind, and WRITE them down. Go with God and discover the mystery that is writing.