Story Magic


I have been drafting a short story – just little bits when I can. The idea is that it will be one of the stories for a collection I’m playing with.

I seem to have spent so long editing and planning that I had forgotten how a story can unfold across the page. I have talked about trialling some planning/outlining for my next novel but I’m deliberately pantsing this one. It might be a bit disjointed and there are times when I worry about what should come next.

Knowing that I will need to rewrite parts, or most, of it hasn’t slowed the writing at all. The first four of five paragraphs will disappear without a thought. I used them as my introduction, to expand and explore the main character as an exercise in getting to know them and not required for the story. Really it was just a place to start, to get the words flowing and see where it went. And I have had some nice surprises along the way, even though I’m only a few pages in.

Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing all this…trying to write. Whether I am any good at it; whether I will ever be able to sell any of it or make some form of living from it. Then there are moments, like when I’m surprised by the words that flow across the page and I am reminded of the joy of writing.

And that is something to hold on to.

Allow yourself a little of the joy to keep you going when it seems a bit hard. Writing can be hard work. When it feels too hard I try to remember that I started writing because of the magic of the first draft. Where is your magic?

2 Replies to “Story Magic”

  1. I too love the discovery of the first draft. My magical moment happens when a character does something unexpected or unplanned and it fits perfectly — a new depth opens up, for the character, that wasn’t previously there.

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