Welcoming the unexpected

My writing has slowed in weeks past. I knew it would come: the school year has begun again, and finding time has thus become more of a challenge. But I have been writing – I’m in the final third now, and for the first time I (think) I know what actually happens at the climax.

I’m not a true pantser – I outline, I have some sense of the story before I start writing – but I never know the story in full before the end of the first draft. In the case of this particular work, I always knew how things ended (or will end, since I’m not there yet), but I wasn’t sure of the events that made that ending possible. Now I think I do know all the major events – at least, the major events in the action plot. This feels good, and like significant progress.

But I still don’t know the events of what Cheryl Klein would call the emotional plot. Today, for instance, one of my characters threw a total emotional wrench in my MC’s plans (and mine too).

It was unexpected. It will require revisiting a lot of what happened earlier in the book when I revise. There are many downsides to this having happened.

But – honestly? – it’s also kinda awesome. I love this feeling of being surprised, when I write as much as when I read.

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