Changing Direction

As a writer, my vision for a piece often changes. I may begin with a strong idea in my mind, and on paper, of what the project will be. However, part way through I often find inspiration elsewhere, or my characters take me down a path I hadn’t anticipated.

In my current project, I went from having the idea of six lead characters and including full back stories for each, to paring down to one main character. I feel that this focus will lead to clearer growth, a deeper connection to the character and her motivations.

I also have faith that I can share important aspects of the other characters’ past without going into as much detail. A part of me is sad that I may not use lots of writing, some of which I actually think is very good. But on the bright side, I see it as crucial foot work in getting to know these characters.

So as I shift focus in my manuscript I can’t help but feel excited about the new direction. I think it lends itself to more action and suspense. Instead of feeling like the reader is getting bogged down with too much additional information, the main plot can really take center stage.

I am curious to know how other writers deal with these changes. Are you easily able to switch focus? Are there feelings of regret? Where do these changes come from?

For visual artists it may be more difficult to change focus. It could mean completely scrapping a piece and starting from scratch. Writers have the liberty of backspace.

It’s easy to look back and feel nostalgia for characters or chapters that we end up deleting. But at the end of the day, if it makes the piece more effective and dynamic then it was worth it.

I look forward to hearing your input and happy writing!


A Novel Idea

It hit me some time late last year. I knew what my New Years resolution for 2013 would be (and I’m not typically one for resolutions). I would finish my first novel by the end of the year. Brilliant, I thought. What a unique, interesting, admirable goal. I must get started right away.

The problem: the farther I go into this adventure, the more I realize how completely unoriginal this ambition is. I’m almost embarrassed now that I thought this would somehow be innovative, fresh, different. A young woman dropping out of the rat race to pursue her dreams. How romantic; I think I have my next book’s plot line.

It’s blown my mind seeing the community of writers out there. And the amazing thing is, what I’ve seen so far is only a minuscule fraction of what really exists. It’s been inspiring to see so many other young women following their dreams; working hard to pioneer new paths. It’s been intimidating to see so many of them thriving, growing, publishing.

Yes, it gives me hope. People do this, it happens. For some. But for how many? What I can do to give myself the best chance possible is to work hard, be patient and learn something new each day.

So far, thanks to the great online community of writers, it’s been pretty easy to do. I look forward to working with you and being inspired by you for many months to come.