Choice of Direction

As I take up the next chapter, I’m faced with sudden choices. I thought the path was clearly defined when the chapter was begun, yet, when I wrote it, it took unexpected twists and ended up somewhere else. Once there, I saw two new options — and then a third, and a fourth. That forces the writing phase that I call “sitting at a computer with a cup of coffee and staring out a window thinking.”

I know I won’t be able to decide in this session. In a way, it’s like a chess match, where multiple future moves are considered. No, I’ll probably finish the coffee and get up without writing another word, and then I’ll go walk for a while and continue to think. I probably won’t decide while I’m walking, either. I’ll continue to think about the options and moves until I return to write like crazy tomorrow. Then, without making a conscious choice, I’ll begin writing, and let it take me.

That’s the process: realize, and think, letting it brew and simmer, and then write by letting the words take me. When I’m in these moments, I’m reminded of the scenes in Stranger than Fiction when Emma Thompson, as the author, Karen Eiffel, smokes cigarettes and wanders around, considering ways to kill her main character.

I so enjoy those scenes.


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