I love to free write.
Honestly, I should do it more often.
When my characters won’t “talk” to me, or when perfectly good scenes aren’t making sense, or when I’m just not feeling that novel anymore, I know the worse thing I can do is force it. So I take my notebook and a pen and I go away from the computer and I just wait… a voice will come forward. It might be one I already know or one I’ve never heard before but she, sometimes he, has a “life experience” to share with me, so I write it down.
To Plot or Not To Plot? Now that is the question and when it comes to plotting a novel I don’t think there is a write or wrong answer. In my opinion it’s down to the individual writer. Well, if Stephen King avoids it as much as possible then it can’t be a necessity right?
first, our lives are largely plotless… and second, I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible – Stephen King, On Writing
I do plot my novels. I’ve said before I have a scene by scene road map. I know where my characters start, finish and how they plan to get there. But it’s their world, their life and they determine the detours along the way and if they don’t get the ending I planned then it’s because they didn’t want it.
But there’s something truly magical about writing freely. It’s like taking a walk inside your imagination which is awesome for me as a writer! Another great thing about just letting the imagination wander off on its own, for me, I find it cures “writers block”. The more I think about not writing the more I can’t write. But if I’m trying desperately to write one particular thing, it only makes it worse. There’s no pressure here. I just write down whatever comes into my head. It has no purpose. It is something that is simply between me and my craft. For the pure enjoyment of writing, and that is why I do this at the end of the day, and want to pursue this as a career, because I enjoy it.
I tried this when I’d finished the first draft of my first very novel Life’s A Ball? I was stuck, most probably a little burned out. So I sat down one day and just let the creative juices flow. It probably won’t surprise you that it was Elle from Life’s a Ball? who spoke to me. But she shared a scene with me which revealed a side to her she’d never had before.
This scene was so good and so much fun that I ended up including it in the rewrite. It’s since changed as the story has grown. The bits I loved about it are no longer included because the story has evolved and today as I take this nostalgic trip back and read that scene I’m actually wondering which scene is better the original or the newer version?
I guess the answer to this question will come when I sit down to do tackle the final rewrite of Life’s A Ball?