In an blatant procrastinating move to avoid figuring out what the heck is wrong with my story at the moment, I am going to ramble here in order to figure out what is bugging me about the stupid chapter with a mind of its own.
And, yes, in case can’t tell my story is giving me fits.
There is tons of advice out there on how to go about writing a book. There are the advocates of the freestyling method, there are the more structured outliners. But no matter whether they are pantsers or plotters the common thread seems to be just sit down and write.
I have always claimed to be a pantsing plotter. You know have a vague outline and then just sit and let the characters do their thing. I was always more concerned with writing every day so that I could finish the darn thing.
I have tried really hard to make writing a habit, and so far my story seems to be progressing. I would even venture to say that I have passed the half way point. And while I am pleased as punch that I have progressed as far as I have, I am not happy with the direction that my characters have taken. Instead of them joining forces to go on an epic adventure they have turned on each other.
And here is where I disagree slightly with the whole concept of just write. If you sit and just write, without putting any thought into your current scene, what you end up with a jumble of words that may not fit in with your story. In order to create something truly cohesive there needs to be structure. You can’t have just have characters changing their personalities mid book and you can’t have characters who were supposed to be friends turn against each other for no reason! And that is what I mean that there has to be discipline in writing. My last chapter has gone on a crazy tangent, and the more I reread it (which I normally don’t do because I am of the mentality that if I edit, I don’t finish writing), the more I am sitting here going WTF? Readers expect consistency in a book. Sure, it is great when an author throws a curveball take the character on a journey which was unexpected, but come one, having the main characters all of a sudden do a 180 in personality?! Not cool.
And I think that is what is bugging me about my chapter with a mind of it’s own. That rather than following the rules that I had set out for the characters it took a twist that doesn’t make sense. It disrupts the cohesiveness of the story. Odds are that when I edit, it will be scrapped. And maybe it is just random backstory for me to figure things out. Maybe what is bugging me about it is that for some unknown reason I decided to write an entire chapter in dialogue. Whatever it is, the simply sitting and writing without a clear objective for the scene is going to have stop.
As writers we have to be disciplined enough to sit there and tell our characters to cut the crap and follow the rules that we have set out for them. Even on those days when we know that what we are writing is crap. So yeah, do make a habit of writing every day. But don’t for any reason buy your own bull that your characters will automatically know where you want them to go as long as you sit and write every day.