When I set out to write my current WIP, I had an image in my mind of what it was going to be: a YA thriller about a bad-ass, take-no-prisoners double agent deep in a world of espionage and treachery. But then I started writing it, and that’s not what it is at all. It’s softer. It’s more subtle. It focuses less on the big picture and more on the characters and their complexity. And, really, it’s a hundred times better than my original vision, which easily could have come off as a caricature study.
There would have been a time in my writing life where such an about-face would have caused me great anxiety. “No, no, NO!” I would have screamed at the page, “you go back into your little box and you stay there! You. Are. A. Thriller!!” But then I learned that often times it’s best to just let it go, to just run with it and see where it takes me (albeit with my plot outline still firmly in place). It’s not always successful, and I’ve had some “let’s just tuck that one away in a drawer, shall we?” moments, but when it works, I’m always glad I took the journey. The end product is worth it.
What about you? Have any of your books ever wound up completely different than you were planning?
(Above image from Because Studio)