A Writing Journey

When Plans go Awry

Here is what I was going to do: I was going to post a nice audio link of a reading of chapter one of Quest for Salvation. I was going to eagerly await feedback and engage in discussion with those who listened and chose to comment. I was going to.

But. The file type that I recorded in is not compatible with WordPress. My plan has been foiled! And so instead you get to read a post about what we do when things don’t go according to plan.

Remember Murphy's Law for writers: If something can go wrong, it should.

Maybe I’ve shared this before.* Doesn’t make it less true. In life as well as in fiction, we have adventures when things go wrong. When I was a kid, my family went camping all the time (or at least so it seems in my memory. In reality, all of my camping stories might be from the same trip). One time, Dad and I drove down the to camp store to get firewood, leaving Mom and my brother to set up the tent. Well, when Dad and I got back in the car to drive back to the site (which was a fair distance away) the car wouldn’t start. The battery had died. So we sat at the camp store, waiting for our new battery to arrive and chowing down on the last of the popsicles. Mind you, this was before we had cell-phones. Finally the car battery came and we drove back up the the tent. Mom and my brother were furious (maybe not, but that’s how it seems in my mind, perhaps from all the retellings). We all had a bit of an adventure that day.

Adventure doesn’t have to be a perilous quest to save the world. It can be that jump between the deck and the roof of the shed. It can be the ramp of packed snow, partially melted and frozen over again in the night, ready for sledding.

In writing, the story gets interesting when things go wrong. Even if we expect adventure, the characters don’t. They sometimes have to be forced into it when all their careful plans get swept away by disaster or need or their own stubbornness. They’ll fight you. Don’t give in. Give them an adventure.

Have you been on any adventures lately? What is the best adventure you can remember from your own life? From a book (no spoilers!)?

Take care, fellow travelers.

*In fact, I know I’ve shared this before. It was a post called “When things go Wrong.” Oh well, the post is written and there’s a nice story there, so let’s pretend this is the first time I brought it up. 🙂

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