Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021
Writing Detours

Sorry for the late post. It was scheduled for 1 a.m., and obviously the posting gremlin fell asleep at the button. Anyway, here’s the blog:

Before I got Maggie and started exploring, I didn’t know that maybe a half mile from my house was this hidden staircase.

It’s leads to a spectacular view of my city including the lake. I found it because Maggie and I deviated from the planned walk and decided to see where a mysterious path would take us–and we discovered a gem (I spell that gym the first time–LOL–that staircase is like going to a gym!)

Anyhow, back to my “planned walks,” snakes, coyotes and human threats are real, so I usually give Wizard a general idea where we’ll be. But sometimes…Maggie and I can’t resist detouring into the unknown and we find a hidden gem.

For me, that’s what writing is like. I will try to plot and plan, and I use a lot of that. But often, the characters want to take an unplanned side road and explore.

The upside is we can find more beauty, depth and emotion in our books.

The downside is a lot of mistakes and wasted time.

Every writer must decide for themselves what works best for them. Unless that writer is me. My characters don’t care what I want, they yank me all over the place, LOL! But I still find an occasion nugget of awesome story on the journey!

6 comments to “Writing Detours”

  1. Silver James
    June 23rd, 2021 at 12:52 pm · Link

    Boo to gremlins but glad your post did show up! And what a cool surprise for you and Maggie to find!

    I love detours. We call it Fun, Travel, and Adventure (FTA) in my family. But not in my writing. GHOSTS took HUGE detours and took forever but like you say, the end is totally worth it. I’m not a plotter. I’m sort of a pantser. Mainly, I’m a puzzler. My process is so foreign and weird to others I get a lot of headshakes. LOL

    Basically, I start with characters and a thing that will happen. That part is sort of the story arc. Sort of. Sometimes, it’s character driven, sometimes plot driven. Anyway. I also get ideas of scenes between characters–sometimes in the actualy WIP, often it’s some totally different project. Thank the Writing Gods for Scrivener and white boards! So, when I get an idea, I write that scene. I also use prompts from flash fiction challenges. Eventually, those scenes all fall into place, in the right order to tell the story. And yes, detours are a fact of life, especially when a character throws me a curve ball about their backstory that feeds into their internal motivation. Gah!

    Also, I swear your characters and mine have a secret chatroom on the internet where they meet and plot against us. Just sayin’!

  2. Viki S.
    June 23rd, 2021 at 3:25 pm · Link

    Sorry you had trouble getting the post out on time. Strange things happen.

    I remember when you first posted the staircase. It is so cool. I bet you and Maggie love going up there when it’s not so ungodly hot, and taking in the view.

    Your characters love yanking you all over the place. But in the end you get the last word ;).

    Have a great afternoon.

  3. Jenn
    June 23rd, 2021 at 5:17 pm · Link

    Silver, it’s true, I’m sure our characters are hanging out in an internet bar somewhere playing drinking games every time they mess with us :-)

    Chasing them around is frustrating BUT when it comes together like you described, it’s even more satisfying.

    We just need to embrace the process, LOL!

    Happy Hump Day!

  4. Jenn
    June 23rd, 2021 at 5:22 pm · Link

    Viki, it’s miserable here today. We’ve even had thunder, lightning and rain.

    We’ll see, there’s a point in every book where I’m ready to walk away and open a bakery :-)

    Hope you have a great night!

  5. B.E. Sanderson
    June 23rd, 2021 at 7:29 pm · Link

    And here I thought it was me again, missing the post first thing this morning. Whew.

    Exploring new territory is fun! We like to just get in the car from time to time and explore (although it’s been a while since our last outing). I’m glad you found your gem. And yeah, it’s like that writing sometimes. I never know where my stories are going to go and somehow they seem to get where they were meaning to go on their own. As long as I stay out of the way. LOL

  6. Jenn
    June 24th, 2021 at 11:09 am · Link

    B.E., nope it’s not you. It’s definitely my blog. Long boring story that 100% validates my life choice of NOT going into web designing.

    Anyhow, back to the point, staying out of our own way is key! Great point!

    Hope you’re having a good week.

Comments are closed.