Should We Tie Up All Those Loose Ends?
Chaos. I love it when I’m writing.
I’ve never been one for plotting everything out before I begin a new work of fiction, whatever form it takes. I simply can’t work that way. I know others can, and do, with great success, but my writing has always been chaotic and I suppose it always will….it’s just one long stream of ‘creativity’ (?) which I dare not stop.
I hesitate to use the word ‘creativity’ but I’m sure you know what I mean. It’s that fantastic feeling when, at the end of the day you think to yourself “Where did all that come from? I never planned that.”
Sometimes it worries me too. For example, it’s that getting involved with normal day to day life, the shopping, the paying of the bills, the making of phonecalls just to catch up…all the usual day in, day out, stuff that does sometimes get in the way of the creative writing process. And I begin to think “But what fantastic ideas might I have come up with if only I’d stopped doing the ‘ normal stuff’ and just got on with writing?” Do you ever feel like that?
But I’m wandering off subject again. I tend to. I apologise. It’s what I do.
Should we tie up all those loose ends? What do I mean by that? Well, I can only describe the process I go through and hope that if it rings any bells with yourself it might help.
As I say, I tend to write in manic, chaotic ‘bursts’ of energy….the ideas flow, I go here, there and everywhere, no idea is ever stopped mid-sentence, all is possible, no barriers, just go for it (as they say). Which is fine.
Unfortunately it does lead to lots of ‘loose ends’ appearing in the storyline, and the plot doesn’t quite stack up.
I woke this morning early, too early to get up, as you do, and my mind drifted back (on its own without asking permission) into the story for the latest children’s book I’m working on. It was only then as it fought its way through the split infinitives and shocking grammar that it found itself meandering down dead ends, cul de sacs, false trails, red herrings, obscure references and so forth.
And it was quite shocking. I hadn’t noticed any of them before. I’d been so tied up in the bigger picture, getting the characters to the end of the story, that I had completely missed the odd scene or minor references that had crept in that just didn’t seem to fit and seemed superfluous to the story as a whole. Or did they work in some odd sort of way?
And that’s the problem. Should we go back through our story and tie ‘everything’ up? Really tighten it up until it squeaks? Or are those ‘odd references’ doing something for our script? Do they make it more interesting? Quirky? Original? Amusing? Or are they just distracting? Leading the reader up the wrong garden path, so to speak? And if they do, is that a bad thing?
I’m confused. But it’s early.