21 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Which Way Are You Going?

  1. Fun video, but it left out a lyric:

    James Scott Bell and Romeo
    Thumping punks with Tae kwon do

    As for changing directions midstream, nothing major. I never went from writing a contemporary thriller to a fantasy or some such. A few times I’ve had characters not cooperate with me, to the point where I let them take me in a slightly different direction. But I always know where I’m headed overall.

  2. What a fun video, Terry! Now the chorus is an earworm…

    The main character in my current WIP, Annie, took me in an entirely different direction as I wrote. She started out in the beginning as calm, cool, collected, and boring…! She told me a few secrets from her past, then she became so much more interesting.

    Those secrets necessitated major revisions to the story line. But it’s definitely better! πŸ™‚

  3. Fun video, Terry! Thanks for sharing this, puts on of my favorite genres to the tune of one of my favorite songs.

    I haven’t changed direction in any major way while writing a novel. I’ve usually spent a lot of time thinking about that midpoint, what Jim so insightfully dubbed “the mirror moment.”

    Today happens to be my sixtieth birthday, and I did change course in my writing career this past year, writing my first mystery novel.

    *That* has been a real eye-opener. It was the fulfillment of a long-time desire. It was a lot of work–writing mysteries is hard. I’d also like to write an actual thriller at some point, and I suspect that will be as much a learning experience as my first mystery.

    Happy Friday!

  4. Fun post, Terry. Loved the video.

    I did make a major change about four years ago. I was midway through a second thriller, when I realized that I wanted to create a children’s series for my grandchildren. I thought long and hard, did a lot of research, and decided on middle-grade fantasy, hoping to have a series well underway when my grandchildren hit that age. I’ve finished my fourth book in the series, and it’s out to beta readers (more on that tomorrow).

    I really liked the concept for the thriller series I started, and will go back to that when I finish the fantasy.

    Have a great weekend.

    • That would be a major change in direction for me. My grandson’s 13 now. Last time I saw him, I asked him what he was reading. He said the book was a lot harder than he’d thought it would be. It was supposed to be “easy.” I asked what it was about.
      Quantum Physics.
      Not going to be writing anything for him!

  5. I start with a general structure, plot, and characters to fill their roles, and I write organically so the answer is no. I have had unexpected problems outside of that structure, though. The worst was a screwed up bit of historical info. My primary research source on Poe’s poetry gave me the wrong date for “The City in the Sea” which destroyed the big historical McGuffin I’d been setting up for over half the novel. I screamed, I hollered, I cussed, then I decided the inside of the refrigerator really needed to be cleaned up because I deserved the pain and boredom. In the middle of throwing away old condiments, I blinked, and the solution to my historical disaster appeared in full. It actually made the novel better and mirrored the main plot’s character dynamics. Never underestimate the power of mind-numbing work, old olives, and the power of the subconscious.

    • Agreed. If you’re not sure where you’re going, or how you’re going to get there, you don’t really know if you’re changing directions. However, I’m an organic writer, too, but I’ve often started a scene with a goal in mind and then discovered a better path.
      Avoiding housework is what keeps me writing. It’s been several months since I decided I needed to get rid of the plethora of accumulated coffee mugs. Still haven’t done it.

  6. Great video, Terry. Did I see two mentions of Chandler? That’s appropriate. However, I don’t remember seeing David and Goliath, and you can’t get much more thrilling than that.

    As far as my own writing, I tend to start the journey like I’m on a river raft. I know the destination, but the current changes along the way and it’s never the route I thought I’d take. But I get there eventually, and I get to visit a lot of interesting places along the way.

    • I imagine the creators of that video had a lot of choices to make. Your process sounds a lot like mine, Kay. I know the overall premise, have several “must include this scene” points in mind, but when I get there, I often discover that the next leg of the trip is taking a different route.

  7. Thanks, Terry, for a fun post and terrific video! Earworm indeed!

    As far as changing directions midstream, no, I haven’t, though my dinghy has been swamped more times than I care to count!

    • You’re welcome, Joe. I heard that video late yesterday afternoon and lived with the earworm all evening. I updated this post to include it, because I thought others would get a kick out of it.
      I’m at one of those “I’m at Point A, and I know my characters have to get to Point B” but the how is still uncertain.

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