05 Nov

Why write?

This is not a new question. I’ve often asked it of myself when my writing doesn’t come easy. When I struggle with a plot problem or I’ve written myself into a corner.

In the past, as I’ve written my books, I’ve changed the plot a little, tweaked motivation and/or conflict, but on purpose. I’d found a way to make the story stronger.

Recently, I learned one of the reasons.

I started the scene with a clear vision of the goal. It came at the right time and the relationship development seemed natural, not forced. Imagine my surprise when my h/h wrested the scene from my perfect concept and blew it all to h-e-double toothpicks.

I wrote a few sentences, sat back in my chair, and said, “Huh. Really.”

Then I wrote more. “Wow.”

More. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

The scene flowed almost faster than I could type it. All the while, I’m astounded it’s taken this turn. It wasn’t in my plan.

It’s only one scene in a whole book, but it was EASY!

For me, writing is not easy. It’s grueling, demanding, and heartbreaking (especially when rejections flow in).

But, this scene, this one tiny scene, is why I write.

It’s thrilling to get it right. It’s humbling. It’s rewarding.

This “where did it come from” feeling is why I write.  I wish it came more often. But, I’ll remember this one forever.


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18 responses to “WHY?

  1. Judith Keim

    November 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Janis, I love that this happened to you. It’s magical, huh? I am a pantser, wish I could be more of a plotter, but that’s how I roll. Anyway, my characters sometimes tell their story in the same way it happened for you. It’s fun but then I have to be careful they don’t runaway with the plot! Bet your story is a fun read. Good luck with it!

  2. Janis McCurry

    November 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Thanks, Judy. Glad you’ve experienced the same thing.

  3. stephanieberget

    November 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    This “where did it come from” feeling–I love this. That is exactly the feeling when it happens. I can’t wait to read your book.

  4. Janis McCurry

    November 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Thanks, Steph.

  5. Meredith Allen Conner

    November 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    My favorite time of writing. Instead of blood dripping from my fingertips and my bad alter ego looking over my shoulder and asking “Really? Are you sure that’s the way you want to phrase that?” The words coming so fast I can’t type quickly enough and the plot unfolding in fabulous and surprising ways . . . I’m with you Janis. That is one of the reasons I write too.

  6. Peggy Staggs

    November 5, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    I love it when the clues and red herrings all fall in line, when I can make the black moment so dark that there doesn’t seem any way out, and especially when the good guy wins.

  7. Janis McCurry

    November 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Yes, these are the times we actually enjoy writing.

  8. Lynn Mapp

    November 5, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Wow! Your characters took over. They did what they wanted to, not what you planned. That’s a lot like real life.

    • Janis McCurry

      November 6, 2012 at 7:10 AM

      I didn’t think of the true life angle, but you’re absolutely correct!

  9. Patsy

    November 6, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    Love those times when the words just flow – and then there are the other times. . .

  10. Janis McCurry

    November 6, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Yeah, now I have to switch the percentages of when the words flow with as you put it…the other times. 😉

  11. marsharwest

    November 6, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Good for you. Janis. I had that experience this weekend at our chapter writing retreat. I wrote 16,500 new words in just under two days. My whole body ached. My H & H weren’t going to make love until the end of the book–not my usual style, but it was what this story seemed to dictate. And right in front of my eyes, in the kitchen, of all places, they decided to get it on–or almost–when horrors of horror, the teenage son hollers he’s heading out–quick stop–they scramble for a semblance of “normal” before he actually enters. I’m blown away both by them doing it and the almost discovery by the son–eeuu! I figure whew that’s it for them until the end where they are supposed to “do it.” Doggone, if they didn’t get right back to it!

    While my fingers are flying across the keys, pain radiating up from the backs of my hands and my thumbs (I do some crazy thing of holding them out.), one part of me has stepped outside the picture watching all this unfold. It flashes across my brain: I really am a writer! Wow! So cool! I’m grateful for those somewhat rare times when this happens. It lessens my envy of all those pantsers out there who I believe are the really “gifted” ones.

    So, yeah, Janis, we keep on writing for those times we too are blessed with giftedness.

  12. Janis McCurry

    November 6, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Great for you, Marsha. I’m glad I could share the feeling.

  13. maryvine

    November 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    It is great to read about how a writer writes-it is amazing. I write because I am happiest when I write.

  14. Janis McCurry

    November 7, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    And that’s a wonderful reason! Thanks, Mary.

  15. Clarissa Southwick

    November 8, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Yay, Janis! Thanks for a great reminder the true joy of writing when all the industry stuff is out of the picture.

  16. Janis McCurry

    November 8, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I agree it’s sometimes hard to remember the “whys” when there’s so many distractions about the industry.


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