Monthly Archives: April 2015

But that’s what HAPPENS! And other whines.

When it comes to suggested revisions, I keep hearing this from writers:

“But that’s what happens, I can’t change it!”

What? I’m puzzled. Don’t get me wrong–I do think there is something almost magical about writing. I experience a true sense of discovery when I write, and I watch scenes unfold in my mind in what can only be described as a cinematic way. My characters have their own voices, and sometimes I am shocked by what they say. And I have gasped aloud as an unplanned twist was typed by my very own fingers.

The imagination is a powerful thing. There’s a lot going on in there, far more than we can understand. There is pain, and love, and drama, and so, so much more. If something exists in the world, we can imagine it. If something does not exist in the world, we can also imagine it. Now, I know it all comes down to the incredible functioning of our brains, but it sure feels like magic.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m running the show. Whatever my imagination conjures, it is up to me what goes on the page. Sometimes I have very stupid ideas for my story. Sometimes my characters say things they wouldn’t say. As the writer, it’s my job to manage and filter my imagination, so that the best, truest version of my story will come forth. 90% of that happens in revision.

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