I can’t remember where I read it, but I remember an interview (or maybe it was a section of On Writing) where Stephen King said he started a novel with a list of characters and an inkling of an idea, nothing more.Â That impresses the hell out of me.Â Really, it does.Â I rarely write anything without a clear idea where it’s going.Â Just Like Hell was outlined pretty extensively.Â The novel I have coming out later this year was written purely so I could get to the next-to-last scene, which had been stuck in my head for months.Â Every long piece I’ve written (and nearly all of the short ones) at least had an ending in place before I started writing them, and most of them had pretty clear outlines, at least in my head.
I’ve tried it the other way, of course.Â My files are littered with half-finished manuscripts, things that started out on a wing and a prayer only to crash and burn.Â You’d think I would have learned my lesson by now.
Well, I’m doing it again.
About ten days ago, I started writing what I thought would be a short story.Â I didn’t have anÂ ending or even a storyÂ in mind.Â Truthfully, I only had the characters and their initial situation in mind.Â Everything else, I figured, would work itself out in 5000 words or so.Â Almost 25k words later, it looks like I’m crashing through a novel.
And I’m having a blast.
I’ve never made it this far on the seat of my pants before.Â Things are falling into place, and the action keeps charging forward.Â I’m still not sure how it’s going to end, but the ride isÂ sure toÂ be a wild one.Â Seriously, I’ve never had this much fun writing something before.Â With any luck, this could turn into something special.
So wish me luck.Â I’m diving back in.