The Art of Discovery

Discovery writing is what I always used to do when I engaged in a novel, though usually with an idea of where I want to end up. Lately, as you know if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, I have been stuck a lot.

As much as I’ve mentioned joy in action in the past, I think I had lost that path. The time is to take joy in storytelling and move on from this funk I’ve been in since I graduated from college.

I’ve gotten stronger as a writer. I’ve made some connections out there in the world. And now it is time for me to get back to the roots. And those roots involve doing exactly what I want to do with my stories. Paradoxically however, giving myself exactly what I want out of a story doesn’t work if the delivery is too obvious, because what I want, in part, is to be surprised by a story. My loose outlines allow for this, but I think situational outlining is even better.

What do I mean by situational outlining? More or less what Stephen King talks about in “On Writing” when he describes his process. Develop a situation and see what happens, like a roleplaying game. Build a rocket and let it fly wherever it goes when it is launched (As dangerous as that sounds). I am going to try this, with as complex a situation as I desire, and see what happens. But first, I’m going to see about ‘setting’ my situation as the next step for one of the books where I am currently stuck in the middle. A new status. A shift in focus perhaps. Forward motion in the story.

Hopefully I’ll remember to let you know how this goes.

Thanks for reading.


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