Monday, April 25, 2011

Wisdom of the Story

I’m just reading Mulberry Project by Linda Sue Park (Newberry Winner for A Single Shard). At the end of each chapter, she has a dialogue between the protagonist and the author. It’s the cutest idea. This spunky little girl, Korean of course, stands right up to her author, wanting things to go her way. She doesn’t like her little brother and wants Park to change him to a sweet little girl that adores her big sister. She doesn’t want to have any problems, and she tells Park to make them go away.
Park tells her that the story is in charge, not either of them. When Park writes, sometimes she doesn’t know what will happen; she lets the story tell itself. Wisdom comes from the story, she says.
I like that concept. The last two days, I’ve been writing about boys in 1870 Utah stealing melons and girls hopping rides on the back of wagons. Neither of these scenes was fully developed in my mind when I sat down to write them. I knew the purpose of each scene and what I wanted to happen, but I didn’t know the particulars until I began to write. As I typed the words onto the computer, the characters came alive and filled in all the blanks I needed them to. Their fully little personalities appeared on the page–kind of like magic. I think my writing would be very stilted if I didn’t do it this way.
I’m sure each of you has a routine that works for you. I’d love to hear how you plan out your scenes as your story moves along. I’m always looking for new ideas.
Christy Monson

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