In an earlier post I mentioned my plan to move forward along the Independent publishing pathway. Well, like most plans, this one is subject to revision. As it turns out, a publisher has shown some interest in Rephaim and is currently perusing the manuscript. But that’s not what I want to talk about.
What we should talk about is flexibility in a writing group. Our most recent meeting of the SPs is a case in point. We have seven members in our group but this past Tuesday only four of us were able to attend. And only three of us had sent pages. This is far from usual and in a less flexible group of people, things could have gotten ugly. Tempers might have flared, accusations might have been flung. But none of the SPs turned a hair, proverbial or otherwise. We ended up with a great meeting in which useful work got done and everyone went home happy. (Is it any wonder that I’m thankful for my group?)
Flexibility is need too, in our plot lines. When we try sending a character through the door, and she consistently twists around, trying to go through the window, it’s probably a good hint that we should remove the screen and see what she’s about. I experience the need for a new direction as a weird sense of discomfort or unease that occurs every time I think about what should happen next in my novel.
For example; in my current WIP, Quest, a character was behaving too nicely. I knew this character was a bad person, but here she was, being all sympathetic and stuff. The phrase “it didn’t feel right,” is a massive understatement. So I re-wrote. Now, not only does the scene reflect the character’s true nature, but tension and conflict has increased, thus avoiding the storyteller’s version of rigor mortis; a dead plot.
Of course, there is a time and a place for sticking to your guns, both in life and in plot-land, but rigidity is rarely a useful tool. Where flexibility often opens up new opportunities, rigidity tends to stifle both relationships and creativity, and what fun is that?
So where have you found it necessary to be flexible? I’ll let you think that one over. Meanwhile…what’s that? The publisher? Oh, that’s a topic for another post. 😉 Happy writing.