It’s ALIVE! When Stories Take on a Life of Their Own

So this hasn’t always been the case, but over time, I have evolved into a ‘Discovery Writer’ (AKA: ‘Pantser,’ as in, ‘writing by the seat of your pants’ [as opposed to being a Planner]). I basically come up with a concept or jumping-off point, and find out where it leads (AKA: writing into the dark).

Sometimes, this method can be terrifying. (“Where the hell is this story going??”) But I have come to find it makes the writing process far more interesting (and fun!). It also means that a lot of times your stories or characters can end up taking a turn on you that you never saw coming.

I had this happen for all three of my most recent projects:

Legends of Lasniniar Goddess Almighty coverLegends of Lasniniar: Goddess Almighty

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When I first came up with my list of ideas for what I wanted to do for each upcoming Legend of Lasnniar fantasy adventure over the six latest installments I had planned to write and publish in a row (this one is number four), I intended to write this story from an entirely opposite point of view.

But after writing Quicksilver, which details the first meeting of Iarion and Felara, I thought it would be much more interesting to get inside Felara’s head for Goddess Almighty. And since Felara is basically a sociopath, the story turned out a few shades darker than I had originally thought it would.

Tale of the Tape Kira Brightwell coverTale of the Tape: A Kira Brightwell Short Novel

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When I made my list of ideas for the upcoming run of Kira Brightwell crime fiction shorts I wanted to write and publish in a row (eight in total), I basically wrote ‘high school story’ in my notebook for this one. I also had a vague idea of Kira trying to find another student’s missing car, but that was pretty much it.

I thought this story was going to be pretty straightforward before I started. But as things moved along, other complications beyond the missing car came out of the woodwork, and really, the missing car was only the beginning.

Tale of the Tape evolved from a vague, short story idea into a short novel of over 25,000 words. (Crazy, right?)

It basically ended up being a much bigger story than I would have intentionally planned. And it was fun to have just Kira and Rob running around trying to solve things again, with Trevor in full douchebag form (much like in Under Wraps).

Legends of Lasniniar Prevailing Wind coverLegends of Lasniniar: Prevailing Wind

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After writing the tangling mystery that ended up being Tale of the Tape, I needed a change of pace. (Back when she was in high school, Kira didn’t have any MMA skills. While Tale of the Tape has quite a bit of action and suspense, there isn’t any actual fighting in it, and I was itching to kick some ass at this point.)

Prevailing Wind is a sideways story from the World of Lasniniar epic fantasy series that focuses on Arinwyn during the time of Storm Rider. (She doesn’t actually appear in Storm Rider, but this is one of her own adventures that occurs ‘off-page’ during that novel. She first appears in Legends of Lasniniar: Without Wings, which takes place during the time of Soul Seeker.)

This story is an evolution of Arinwyn’s character after we first meet her in Without Wings. Both her magic and her secret heritage are a continuing theme that she is forced to struggle with.

…And what better way to kick things off than with a badass battle against a dragon?

This one definitely ended up having more action than I originally had planned for an internal struggle story, but the fighting actually ended up informing that struggle, so it all worked out.


So basically all three of these stories ended up being quite a bit different than they probably would have been if I had started with a detailed plot outline in hand. Does that make them better? No way to tell, really. But it definitely made them more interesting and fun for me to write (which is what helps keep me humming along).

And I’m hoping that makes them more interesting and fun to read as well.


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Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments