Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reality and fiction: an unexpected turn

It's so odd working with a plot. I'm writing a sci-fi book at the moment. The story has lived in my head for about five years, so obviously I'm familiar with every aspect of the story. Yet odd things can still happen. In this way (and others), fiction is similar to life.

I'll be sitting in a chair in the evening, musing about the plot when suddenly two characters intersect in a way I'd not considered before. And yet it's so obvious that the characters would do this. I find myself shaking my head, wondering how I'd missed this plot turn for years.

It's like life. You know how sometimes an event will come out of left field, something you'd never considered before -- and yet you find yourself saying, "Of course Jimmy Bob and Junie Bob are getting a divorce. How could I not have seen that coming?" (Or whatever the insight is.) It seems so obvious, given what you know about the people. And yet, you had never considered the possibility until it occurred.

It's the same with fiction. This happened to me last night and although the plot device that occurred to me is pretty damn obvious, it wasn't on my radar at all. And this little item will have a huge effect on the story.

If you're writing fiction, stop often to think. You never know what will pop up. Just keep the story in your head and let the characters and events interact. If you do this regularly, something magical may happen.

Okay, I'm writing today. Gotta work that idea into the story. See you later.