A couple of Saturdays ago I thought I had the perfect day planned. My 5 year old buddy and I were going to spend the morning together. The day's agenda was all laid out...picking out books at the local indie bookstore, shopping for Christmas presents for her parents, and sharing some chicken nuggets at her favorite eatery. When I woke up that morning I would have sworn I knew every aspect of the day we had waited all week to enjoy. But LIFE doesn't always go as planned. The cookie cutter expected ending to our great buddy day was thrown out the window when my iPhone got stolen. I spent the next two hours with the police as we all stared at the person who now had my phone in their pocket. Unfortunately justice wasn't on my side and my day had a different ending than expected. Surprise!
Writing can be like that.
Last month I participated in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's thousands of people coming together during the month of November to attempt to write a completed first draft of a novel in 30 days or less. It was my first year participating and I was determined to bring to life a story that had been rattling around in my head for almost three years. I originally thought LUNADAR was a stand alone young adult fantasy story but by the time I put down my 50,234th word it had blossomed into Book Two of a trilogy. Surprise!
I started the month with a detailed outline of exactly where my cast of characters were going to end up when I was done. I thought I knew Ariana like the back of my hand and the writing seemed to flow across the page effortlessly. But somewhere along the way things changed. The book came to life and went on its own path of discovery; leading me on a merry chase through fairie filled forests, standing on the deck of a ship on the high seas, fighting Titons at an underwater fortress, and even battling barb throwing beasts on a desert wasteland. The ending I had all planned out was thrown to the winds and a different one left in its place. Surprise!
Writing is a great passion of mine and I think the reason why I love it so is because it challenges me to stay one step ahead of my own creativity. Sometimes I do and a strong story is born. But sometimes, if I'm really lucky, my characters will plan a surprise ending for me that is completely unexpected and I love it.
I was a reader long before I became a writer and every reader wants to be engaged from the first page to the last. It's what makes them go "ahh" at the ending before telling all their friends about the fabulous book they just read. And for me as a writer, knowing there are people out there sharing my stories with others because they enjoyed what I wrote? Well, that's probably the biggest surprise of all!
Remember, there is still time to enter my giveaway of one autographed copy of my picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, and a grab bag of goodies! Contest ends on December 31st so get your entries in by clicking
on this Rafflecopter link and enter my giveaway!