Click

I’m starting to realise how much idea-theft goes on in the blogging world. “Hey, I really like this post idea” turns into a string of similarly-themed posts that continue for at least a week. Me, I think it’s a good thing. It’s an online discourse where lots of opinions and perspectives are shared. For this week, I need to thank Kathi L Schwengel for her look at whether it’s the author or the characters who really write the story.

It put me to mind of something I’ve experienced numerous times in the Greylands process.  Possible it’s coincidence (and some of you might even think “What else could it be?”), but too often I read my submissions, and somehow the authors ideas have fallen directly on what I had planned for the rest of the story. Now, they can attest that I never shared where the story was going, or what would happen to the characters – they write based on stories that have come before. Despite this, many of them jumped right onto my train of thought. It’s left me astounded more than once.

When writing my own stuff (novels, short stories, etc), there’s always that little detail you include, although you don’t notice at the time, or you’re not sure why it’s important, and then BAM right at the end of story, the long line of subtleties comes to hit you over the head and you realise THAT’S why you had to have it, and without even trying the whole book makes sense. Like a long line of dominoes that you’ve just knocked over to discover that pattern is way more intricate than you thought.

I call this the “click moment” and I love that moment. It’s probably the biggest rush of writing, and definitely the biggest validation that your idea works. Sometimes that epiphany means a lot of rewriting in other sections, but for myself I never touch the “clicks”. What about you? Have you ever experienced that revelation where all of the randomness ends at the same point without ever really trying?

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10 comments

  1. You described the entirety of my last novel. I wrote it with no plot in mind, no genre, no theme (not on purpose; I thought I had them but they abandoned me by chapter 2), nothing but my characters running around doing stuff. Finally I said “enough’s enough” and stuck The End on the end. Two weeks later I suddenly had my ‘Click’ moment. Remarkably few modifications were needed, mostly on the stuff that I’d pushed through at the end.
    A similar sensation is when you’re a bit stuck on where to go next, you read your story over again, and find something minor that you threw in for the hell of it can be expanded to fill the need you have now. Love those moments.

    1. It’s definitely those moments that stop you from through the whole MS out the window. Fantastic that in tied in your whole novel! Can’t wait to see the final result 😉

      1. That particular book has been out for the last year, St. Martin’s Moon. It’s a werewolf adventure/romance set in a haunted lunar colony. Five separate plotlines cross at the end (that was the Click!) to resolve a problem that no one even knows about until six months after it happens. It’s the way I write all of my stories, though, and they all have their Clicks. My current MS overfloweth.

    1. That’s the best and worst part of the “clicks”, they always happen when you’re not thinking about them. You know what you’re doing, though, TJ – the click’ll come 🙂

      1. The trick is to not be thinking about them enough that they happen, while thinking about them enough to realize that they did happen.

      2. That puts it nicely in perspective 🙂 And really, it goes down to the bare bones of some of my truest beliefs about writing – the first draft should never be thought of at all. Brain to document. “Trying” is what leads to halting writing and plot gaps. Step two is the critical thinking aspect where you read off and fix all the plot holes – and it’s also where you notice the clicks 🙂

  2. I have definitely had several of those moments while world building and writing. Sometimes history even clicks for my needs 🙂 LOVE LOVE LOVE those moments!!

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