Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blizzards and Plot Twists

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Out here on the East Coast we got hammered with a bit of a blizzard on the day after Christmas. I figure there's got to be some way to tie that in to writing.

How about unexpected plot twists.

See, this storm was unexpected (at least by me, but perhaps I wasn't paying enough attention). On Friday the forecast that I heard was that "there might be some snow, Sunday." Christmas day my brother mentioned we might get as much as 18 inches. (That raised my eyebrows a bit!)
When all was said and done we had close to three feet of snow by Monday morning.

That was not how the week was supposed to go.

But it is how the week is going.

And what about in a story? We plan and plot and organize and then we find the story going off in some other, unexpected direction. Do we try to rein it in and stick to our original plan? Or do we let the blizzard blow and see what we end up with when the skies clear.

I say take the unexpected twists and work with it. Maybe your story really knows what it needs. Let it tell you.

And if it doesn't work, you can always shovel away all the extra stuff and start again.

Happy New Year, everyone!


  1. Wow, look at all that snow! We had problems with mudslides with all our rain.

    Great analogy of writing! I totally know what you're talking about!

  2. Definitely a lot of snow. At least temps are above freezing now and it's starting to melt. Slowly.

  3. Your Christmas this year reminds me of our Christmas last year. We had 17 inches of snow, a record for our area. Some winters we have nary a flurry. They had predicted a light snow, but on Christmas Eve it started. Turned into a blizzard. Four foot high snow drifts blocked our garage. We couldn't go anywhere. Travelers were stranded on the highway. And the most amazing thing happened. Families in our small town took in the travelers, celebrated Christmas with them. The churches opened their doors with places to sleep, hot food and prayers. I decided that God knew what He was doing. Shopping was forgotten. The true meaning of Christmas was remembered.

    Hope you have warmer weather from now on. I usually go where my characters take me. Sometimes I have to backtrack, other times they know more than I do.

  4. We were actually lucky - the snow started on Sunday, so didn't interfere with Christmas. And we were home. Plus my husband had off Monday.
    But the stories from around the state are horrific - people trapped in cars, subways, airplanes. Yikes. There's probably a story plot in there somewhere!

  5. Christine, I was in the Sunday snowstorm. Does look pretty though. Where on the East Coast are you. I'm in New York on the west side of the Hudson River.