I’m writing along, laying down the manuscript for the sequel to AT WHAT COST and the urge to pull off the path gets stronger as I go. I don’t seem to be in control of the wheel anymore and I can feel It jerk out of my hands when I try to steer it back on course.
The work on the new book is going along great and I’ve even made it past that dreaded “Muddle In The Middle,” where books bog down and go to die. But, there seem to be unknown forces at work bent on driving this story car into the next freeway bridge abutment. Just for the fun of it.
I’m a sagger. Not a strict outline follower and not a free spirited pantser either. Loose pants maybe, hence sagger. I get the freedom of letting the story go and develop in it’s own way and enjoy the surprises along the track without becoming little more than an obsessive compulsive mad typist. Strict outlining is boring stuff and sucks the fun right out of the whole process for me. So, the pull of the steering wheel isn’t new, it’s just this time the ghost in the machine wants to take the next offramp.
I’ve thought of it as kinda like the new Tesla car with it’s autopilot control. I get to set the destination and some of the rules, but the car does what the car wants, even if that means trying to fit under an 18-wheeler making a left turn. You still get to the same end point, but the ride is a bit more exciting. I need to trust the machine–what could possibly go wrong?
In this book, the Muse at the wheel is responsible for killing characters that I hadn’t set out to end, made negative characters sympathetic and upped the sense of urgency for the protagonist. It’s not like I licked a toad or anything, but something is going on here and I need to get out of the way and let it happen.
The fastest route between two point may be a straight line, but what’s the fun in that? Get twisty with it.