Friday, 20 April 2012

Up the Garden Path

Okay so this was going to be a post on The Hunger Games film but I've been distracted by another topic. Deep into revision it occured to me how easy it is to simply take the wrong path while writing.
I admit I'm not a planner, I begin my writing with a kernel of an idea and set off on the journey with no real idea of where I'm going. So therefore it's easy for me to wander off in the wrong direction. That's not a problem as such if, and I say if, you figure out when you've gone wrong.
Unfortunately it's harder than it sounds! Because let's face it, if you have no plan how do you even know when you've gone wrong?
Of course you should be able to figure out when something doesn't sound right but it's often hard to pinpoint exactly where the problem is. It's easy to spend ages fiddling with what you've done and never see the deeper issues.
So what do you do? Can you avoid the brambles on the path? Should you even want to? What if you find some blackberries among the brambles? What if your wrong path leads somewhere amazing?
A detailed plan could save you wandering too far but it may also prevent those moments of startling revelation that occasionally surprise us all so what do we do?
Well, in my case I used a literary consultant and she very kindly kicked me in the right direction. You don't have to pay for this service of course, you could use a crit group or a writing buddy to help you see where you may have taken a wrong turn. The perspective gained from others can't be underestimated in my opinion - as long as they have some understanding of writing of course - opinions from your mum, your friend or your child can't entirely be trusted, trust me!
So, don't be afraid of wrong turnings, they may not even be wrong, just different from what you expected and if you do find yourself up a cul de sac withot a paddle get another opinion, fresh eyes can make all the difference.

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