A weird thing happened to me last night while I was working on my new manuscript.
After slapping together a basic outline for the first book in what I hope will be a trilogy, I had trouble outlining the second and third. So, I decided to just start writing the first one in hopes the ideas would congeal a little better.
I started hating all two thousand words that I’d written over the last week, but I thought all first drafts are shitty—I can fix it later. So I kept on writing the next scene.
Here’s the weird part.
I’m in the process of writing this scene, and I’m hating on every word I type out. It’s not flowing, the dialogue is dragging, and my descriptions of the scene leave almost everything to be desired. I’m bitching and moaning in my head for 650 words. Then, I stop to take a break and I reread the scene.
It’s not pretty or well executed, but again, I can fix that later. What surprised me was that the whole time I was muttering to myself about how awful it was, I was also writing an important plot point into the scene.
A plot point I had not thought about. A plot point I was thinking of setting up later in the chapter.
And this plot point worked. It will serve to reinforce things that happen later in the story, and serves as a point of conflict in the scene.
It just appeared. Instinctively. Organically. Without me having to think about it once, and while I was actively thinking about something completely different.
I am amazed and disturbed at the same time. Amazed that my instinct for this story is so strong that it overcame negative self-talk. Disturbed that my negative self-talk is so strong that I didn’t realize what I was writing was actually okay, in terms of the greater narrative.
I hope that my story telling instinct stays strong in the future. I could write a whole book on instinct and finesse it later, and that would be all right.
Has anyone every experienced that kind of moment, where instinct takes over while you’re writing? Tell me about it in the comments.