I have written a lot over the past few months about the difficulties of writing, the research involved, and the endless dedication required in order to complete a long (and often complicated) piece of writing. In light of this, I also find it equally important to talk about the more fun side of writing. There are many enjoyable aspects of the writing process, however for me, I must say that one of my favourites, is discovering the plot of the story which often develops in unforeseen ways.
The first real attempt at writing creatively that I can recall was a short story written in the ninth grade. Set in the same world which would later evolve to become the foundation for my first novel, The Indoctrination, the story was written for class and then placed in a state-wide writing competition. Since that time, there has rarely been a point in my life where I have not had a pen in my pocket and a notebook nearby. Writing for me is a mix of many elements. It is a conductive way to channel my thoughts, emotions, and dreams onto the page. My characters often take me on journeys that I never imagined, showing me worlds and places that I could never have explored on my own.
There are many different methods to writing. Some authors, for example, George R.R. Martin, will plot their work from beginning to end long before actually writing a single paragraph. They will often create character bios, draw maps and charts, or outline the course of the work before they begin. Others take a more developmental route, beginning a tale with limited knowledge of its evolution or eventual end.
My personal style of writing favours the second method. Stories often evolve organically, and sometimes even those who work so hard to pre-plan their stories find the plot going in a different direction than was originally planned. Stories take twists and turns as characters reveal their thoughts a piece at a time. They make unexpected choices, change their minds half-way through a tale, and on occasion, even come across new characters which I never intended to create.
The surprises that I find along the paths my characters walk are one of my favourite aspects of writing. To write a scene with baited breath, unsure of how it will end, is, at least for me, one of the most magical and thrilling aspects of being a writer.