Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One Way... or Another?

It happens to most, if not all, writers at one time or another. That is the realization that writing is, indeed, a long journey. Without a map. Let's, for this blog, forget about the "Dead End" that is commonly referred to a writer's block and focus on a different dilemma: the point in your story where it can go the way you planned....

...or not.

Yes, it's hard to believe, but sometimes one can have too many great (one hopes) ideas. You reach that fork in the road where you could go in any of two or more directions. And there are great (one hopes) possibilities for each one. Along with these possibilities, however, there are also great (one knows) risks. Is it better to stick to the plan, the outline, the original idea where you already had the ending in sight and you knew EXACTLY where you were going to be when you typed "The End"? Or are you tantalized by the thought that maybe, just maybe, this other path, this other idea, might be even better than what you had originally plotted?

Just imagine the possibilities!

Or then again....

Well, it SEEMED like a good idea at the time....

If you're anything like me, this can paralyze you and bring your writing to a screeching halt, which is not a good thing if you have a deadline to meet. Sometimes it helps to think about in which direction your story line is heading in the next book (if, like me, you're writing a series) and where you ultimately want your characters to end up. That may nudge you in the direction that is best. But sometimes it comes down to the flip of a coin. Either idea might work or not. 

I encountered this while writing my fourth Black Horse Campground mystery (as yet untitled) because the story line I was working on hatched a whole new story line... but one that would have made the book twice as long and would require dividing the focus among too many characters. Did I want to continue the original story line, or see what was down the "road not taken"?

I decided to take that road. Book Four might be a little longer in coming, but I'm excited about the direction in which I and the Black Horse Campground gang are heading.

Hope you'll join us! I promise we won't get (too) lost!

*Interesting note: While I can't vouch for the authenticity of the first and third photos in this blog, I can assure you all that the second photo (yes, the one with the UFO!) is a real road sign and there are several in the northern region of New Mexico near Taos!

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