Writing is an art form, a gift that showcases one’s ability to create something others can enjoy and admire. How to create this art form varies from one writer to the next. What works for me, may not work for someone else. Therefore, it’s always a sound idea to ask others about the process. How do fellow writers write?
I’ve been particularly interested in structure, or in my case, lack of structure. Sure, I have a basic idea of what my story is about, who the main characters are, and what the ending might look like. But as I’ve discovered in the novels I’ve written thus far, sometimes structure serves to impede my writing process, rather than aid in the flow.
This is most often the case regarding the ending of the novel. As I said, I have an idea how my story will end. However, as I get deeper into the book my perspective changes. New characters emerge, incidents and conflicts erupt, and suddenly, the ending I thought was going to blow the reader away, morphs into a less than expected conclusion.
The art of creating a story that will garner praise does not always follow a straight path from beginning to end. A writer must be flexible and unafraid to veer from his outline or notes. Structure can be the very thing that causes the writer to lose focus and encounter the dreaded writer’s block.
My sense is that one must have a game plan, a template to follow. However, just as in any sport, the game plan may not be working as expected. Be ready and courageous enough to change what is not working. Your thoughts?