#IWSG Surprising Writing #amwriting #WWWBlogs

The IWSG is a fabulous site for authors to share and encourage ech other by expressing doubts and concerns and looking for advice and guidance in our writing life. It’s a safe haven and meeting place for insecure writers of all kinds!
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day when we post our thoughts on our own blogs. Check it out and join in here! 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG
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I’m taking part by answering this week’s optional Question: 
Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?)

I surprise myself every time I pick up my pen, because I (almost) always jot down my ideas on paper before I sit down to the ‘real’ work of giving shape to my untidy notes on my laptop.

I always carry a pen and notebook, ready to capture the idea on the spur of the moment, before it escapes forever… Many of those ideas are never transformed into complete stories, although they may become part of a story. I use the same notebook until all the pages have been used up, which usually takes about a month, and I keep them at hand, just in case, for years.

This was sitting on a plane, but my favourite place to write is in the car, when I’m not driving!

I’ve written three historical novels and have started a fourth, but my heart isn’t in this fourth novel, at least not yet, so it’s resting on my shelf for the time being, because I wanted to write something different, but I haven’t known what for a long time.

I felt lost, not knowing what kind of novel I wanted to write. I kept filling notebooks full of  ideas which never came to fruition. It wasn’t writer’s block, because I had plenty of random creative ideas, but I felt I lacked purpose. I needed to find a project that would absorb all my creative thoughts and energy. I was getting worried. Although there were many ideas, not one pulled me obsessively, which is what I need to immerse myself in a novel completely.

It has taken me about a year to feel overwhelmed by a new project, but it has finally happened, when I least expected it, on a long car journey, as co-pilot, the seed of an idea dropped and flourished. When I arrived, I had a rough outline, main characters, setting, and a sense that ‘this was it at last’.

Throughout the following month of August, at a holiday flat by the sea, the plot grew and the characters came to life. It’s not a historical novel and it’s not a family saga. It’s a type of novel I never thought I’d write. A contemporary, romantic thriller simmered for 30 days, in a whole notebook of ideas. I’m back home now, and the proper, chapter by chapter outline is almost complete.

I’m a plotter, mostly, although I enjoy improvising, too. I love it when a character I hadn’t planned surprises me by popping into my mind and taking over, or when a plot twist happens unexpectedly as my characters are thinking or speaking. I can deal with these surprising characters and events and rework my original plan. On the other hand, I find it impossible to write without a destination, and that’s where plotting helps me focus.

I welcome surprises as a writer. I never know when or how a creative idea will take root in my mind, and I love the challenge of continued surprises as the novel unfolds.

Antonio Machado (1875 – 1939), drawing by Leandro Oroz Lacalle (1883 – 1933)

A famous Spanish poet, Antonio Machado (1975-1939), wrote, “Traveler, there is no road; you make your path as you walk.” I agree with Machado’s idea, but I also like to know where my destination lies.

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Do you like surprises as a writer?

Have you ever surprised yourself?

20 thoughts on “#IWSG Surprising Writing #amwriting #WWWBlogs

  1. Inspiration has a habit of coming when we least expect I find. I love the way you collect and fill a notebook each month. Wishing you well with your writing project.

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    1. Thank you ❤ I love my notebooks. I have a niece who has wanted to be a writer since she was about 10, about 6 years ago, when she asked me for advice I said, ‘carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go and use it to write your ideas.’

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    1. Thank you:) Well I was getting a bit desperate. For a year I had loads of notebooks and first chapters which just fizzled out. Fingers crossed this time I’ll complete the project. I have the feeling this is ‘The One’ for me.

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  2. Doesn’t it kind of feel great when you fill up an entire notebook with ideas? Even if an idea never manifests into an actual story that I write, the notebook lives on as physical evidence of my creative drive and my lively imagination. I get some of my best ideas when I riding shotgun in a car on a long trip. I love that you are taking a risk by pursuing a project so different from what you’ve done previously. Thanks for sharing, and happy writing to you!

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    1. Yes. I love filling up my notebooks. Sometimes my grandchildren get hold of them or interrupt me while I’m using them and they draw a picture, so some pages are even colourful! Thank you for your kind words and comment ❤

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  3. I LOVE being surprised when I’m writing. Like you, I’m a plotter, but sometimes, little plot details will connect parts of the story together while I’m writing, and I never would have been able to foresee it during the plotting process.

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    1. Yes! I love it when that happens. You’re writing a scene you’re not sure about and it suddenly works itself out ‘on its own”. Sometimes I ‘sleep on it’ and in the morning I’m full of ideas.

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  4. Hi, Luccia! I enjoyed reading your post and learning about your writer’s process. You obviously have a creative process that works well for you. I have never been an outliner. I may start with an outline or a plan, and off my plan my writing goes. It doesn’t matter if it’s non-fiction or fiction. Sometimes, when I’ve been required to produce an outline, I write it after I’ve gotten the piece done. I’m about at the point of making an outline for my memoir which I’ve been floundering around with for several years. I’ve had to work through a whole bunch of things to get to the point I’m at. I think that every writer has to find his or her way to what works. Happy writing in September!

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I admire writers who don’t need an outline. It sounds more exciting, but I’d be too worried about where it’s all going… A memoir must be a beautiful emotional journey to write, but there’s so much to say that getting the angle and the contents just right would require many notebooks and much thought. Good luck with your project💖

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  5. I like how you keep your writing tools handy at all times and you also know where your creative place is. As funny as this sounds my best brainstorming happens when I am exercising. I don’t know if my mind is so busy during the day, exercise refocuses my thought process, but ideas just come out of no where on a bicycle or a stair stepper. I am happy you found your grove again 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words💖
      Exercising is an interesting place/moment to be inspired:) I’m either too hot, bothered and exhausted to think, or if I’m on my exercise bike, I’m listening to an audio book or loud music to keep me going. Although I have had some good ideas whole I was walking…

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