January 14, 2022

The Magic of Writing

The Magic of Writing

Sometimes, I understand why so many writers think of the act of writing as a magical process.

In the chapter I was editing this morning, I had a note to add a detail that would play an important role later in the story. It wasn’t much. Putting the detail to paper didn’t take more than three or four sentences.

But after adding the detail, I realized the two characters in the scene would react far differently than they had in the original draft. Not only that, but it would, almost certainly, result in a new conflict between the characters.

It was an exciting change, and so I began rewriting the chapter from the introduction of the new detail onward.

Then, one of my characters surprised me.

The scene took a turn that was almost completely opposed to what had originally been written.

And this is the feeling I think I hear so many writers talk about. I’d started the chapter intending to add a simple detail, and ended up with an entirely new scene. It was far richer in conflict and character, and I had no idea any of it was going to happen when I sat down to edit this morning.

It very much has the feeling of watching a story come to life, and observing that process unfold is one of my favorite experiences of being a writer.