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  • Writer's pictureTalbot Finch

7. When your writing surprises you.

One of my favorite things about writing is how often it surprises me. Story ideas that I have in mind end up playing out so differently on the page. Sometimes, characters make choices I never imagined them to, and it’s like they’ve suddenly graduated from mere concept to living, breathing, decision-making person.

In many ways, writing feels like a mystical, almost spiritual practice. It certainly feels at times as though I’m engaging with a conversation with someone I can’t see or speak to directly. Perhaps, that “someone” is our creative self that lives deep within our subconscious. Perhaps, it is the soul. Perhaps, it is something else entirely.

While I am still understanding my relationship with this unknowable something, my advice to beginner writers is to trust its guidance. I believe that the more I attempt to keep my story on the rails I previously mapped out for it, the less chance there is for the story to truly come into its own. When we open ourselves up to change and let the story lead us forward, magic can happen.

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