Friday, December 14, 2012

Deja Vu Blogfest

Today is the Deja Vu blogfest hosted by DL Hammons. The purpose of this blogfest is to repost a blog of yours that you may have posted awhile ago and people may not have seen. I'm reposting one from October 10th of last year. It was after I really started to write and I wanted to talk about some of the things that surprised me. These things still surprise me and are some of my favorite things about writing.



Surprises in Writing

Along my journey of writing a novel, I have experienced a few things that have really surprised me. Since this is my first attempt at writing anything more than a short story or report for some class, I have been a little taken aback by certain things. I never before would have thought that these things would have happened. I have been very pleasantly surprised.

The first thing that has surprised me is my characters. They do things on occasions that I don't expect. I'll be happily writing along and all of sudden stop and think, wow I wouldn't have expected that from you. I expect them to go one way and at the last minute they decide they want to go the other. For example, in my novel, I have a character who is a supporting character. Throughout the whole first part of the story I thought he was going to be interested in my lead character. I wrote the beginning of the story that way, until I was writing a particular scene. In this scene one of the other support characters came up to him and just like that, they were together and he was no longer interested in the main character. I didn't think that they would make up their own minds. I thought that I would be in complete control over all they do and say. Boy, was I wrong.

Another thing that surprised me is surprises. What do I mean by this? I'll be writing a scene and put something little in, for example a look, smell, or a sentence. At the time it will be completely benign. However, later that little thing will have such a deeper meaning. For example, my main character, Emma, says that her Aunt always smells like summer. I wrote this in my first chapter. When I wrote it I wasn't thinking anything about it. It had no deeper meaning than she smells like summer. However, two chapters later we find out there is a particular reason as to why she smells like summer. It's much deeper than just a smell. When writing that sentence however, I didn't know that. This has happened to me on multiple occasions and each and every time I am completely marveled by it.

This journey of writing has taken me by surprise in many ways, these are just two that stand out the most. Have you had many surprises? If so please share them with me. I'd love to hear about them. Photobucket

21 comments:

Elise Fallson said...

Don't you just love these kinds of surprises! Your 'summer smell' example made me smile. I know exactly what you mean. (;

Patsy said...

That happens to me too - it's weird isn't it when characters seem to come alive, or start leaving clues to their personality.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, the surprises are fun and take your story in new directions. Thanks for sharing this. I didn't read it the first time.

Annalisa Crawford said...

My characters are always surprising me like that. Although usually they go off on an evil taking-over-the-world or becoming-an-axe-murder bent instead of settling down with the love of their life. I sometimes wish they'd stop doing that!! :-)

What a great idea for a blogfest!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wish deeper meanings would surprise me once in a while.

Chris Fries said...

Great Post!

Yes, I'm often surprised by my writing. Sometimes positively, but sometimes I come back and re-read to be surprised at how weak a previous 'great idea' once seemed, lol!

Happy Do-Over Day!

DL Hammons said...

I remember this post. Great choice for a do-over. I am still surprised how plot twists seem to fall out of nowhere when I had unknowingly set them up so perfectly. :)

Thank you for participating today!!

Cassie Mae said...

I'm surprised every time I write, I think, lol. I'll reread a chapter then realize something in there I hadn't before and be like, holy cow, I'm a genius! haha! :)

Rena said...

Great post! And yeah, the surprises are just gems in the manuscript.

Carrie-Anne said...

I write organically, instead of exactly outlining everything in advance, so I get a lot of surprises too. The biggest surprise I had was when I was writing my first Russian novel many years ago, and the lead female character ended up falling for one of her other suitors after her supposed true love abandoned her and went to America. This required going back and making her in love with him all along, not just falling for him all of a sudden, and the entire storyline improved by leaps and bounds.

michelle said...

I'm visiting from the blogfest.
Yes, the writing journey is full of surprises... unexpected twists and turns... characters that rebel... plot detours...
Great post!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

When I'm writing, the characters do seem to take up residence in my head and become real, but rarely do they do anything "out of character." However, one of my characters did surprise me when he turned out to be gay. Through multiple drafts of writing and re-writing, I didn't imagine that as a possibility, but it just fell into place as though it were meant to be all along.

JJ said...

Keep dreaming. Great post! I am now your newest follower.

Jenny said...

The surprises do make writing exciting! It's fun when the characters start speaking up in unexpected ways.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Jessica, I love when this happens!
In my last manuscript, one of the major characters executed a revolt on page 1, changed his name and appearance, and became someone totally different than I had planned.

But I expect my characters to misbehave. Like you, I think the surprises are more surprising. I always wonder, was this an accident? Or did my subconscious have this in mind all along?

farawayeyes said...

I love when that happens and the characters and story start writing themselves.

Cindy Dwyer said...

I love surprises in my writing. Sometimes when I'm stuck, I try to excite myself by wondering about what I'll be able to go back and read the following day - it inspires me to keep pushing forward.

Cynthia said...

Saying hello from Deja Vu...sometimes my characters and plot details do take on lives of their own. Sometimes I liken writing to riding a strong-willed horse. Sometimes the horse does as it's told and other times it gallops off into the woods when you'd planned for it to stay near the barn. But you go into the woods with the horse and see where it takes you...

Em said...

This is part of what I love most about writing! These fun things that are unexpected & surprising. Very cool post.

Jessica Salyer said...

Patsy-I love it when it happens. It is a little strange though.

Chris-I get that too sometimes.

DL-I think that, that's the absolute best.

Carrie-Anne- Don't you love it when everything falls into place.

Michelle-Thanks!

Susan- I bet that was a little surprising, but nice when everything fell into place.

Jenny- I love that!

Cindy- Nice trick.

Cynthia- Nice analogy.

Nicole said...

I love those little writing surprises that somehow perfectly fill a plothole later on...even though you didn't even plan it. :) Great post!