Every novelist works a little differently. Some write books by the seat of their pants, riding the crazy writing train to wherever it takes them.
Others make meticulous outlines before ever putting a word on the page, and know exactly where they’re going and how they will get there.
I suspect that most of us are somewhere in the middle.
Icertainly am. I start with a loose outline. I know how the plot will lay out, generally, and the steps along the way. But I also allow for that rarest of beasts – the “Holy Sh!t Moment (HSM).”
It’s the flash in your writer brain when suddenly something connects with something else in your story, and your plot goes off on a whole new direction. It’s the Aha! moment, the flash of genius, the classic lightbulb-above-the-head thing.
I usually have them when I’m driving or riding my bike – when my writer brain has a little peace and quiet to work on unresolved issues. My writer brain likes peace. And quiet. And wheels, apparently.
I had an HSM last week with “Ithani” (Oberon Cycle book three). Suddenly a bit from book two, “Lander,” and a bit from book one, “Skythane,” combined into a glorious writer brain orgasm of newness and possibilities. It gave the whole thing a fresh direction and energy, and opened up so many ideas for the ending.
So, my writer friends – when do you get your HSM’s? What are they like for you? And how do they transform your work?