When the Story Runs Wild

Have you ever had one of the days where the story and your characters want to journey anywhere except where you planned to take them?

Well, that’s the way it’s going for me today.  Like wrestling with a greased pig.  Every time I think I have all those thrashing little hooves pinned down, they slip right through my fingers.

After several hours of trying to force my story into what I wanted it to say, I’m ready to release it to the wild.  The wild part of my imagination, I mean.

I’ve been here before and I know it’s pointless to continue writing when I get into this situation.  To go on will only increase the level of my frustration.  And every word I place on paper will be tossed out tomorrow because the writing will be stiff and dry instead of fluid and succulent.

If I had paid attention to my instincts earlier in the day I would have closed my manuscript and worked on some other task.  Instead, I was determined to make the pages fit with what I’d written in an earlier session.

What can I say?  Sometimes I’m slow and stubborn.

So now that most of the day is gone, with pages filled with nothing I’m happy to read, I’m doing what I should have this morning.

I’m stepping away from the keyboard and engaging my mind with something completely unrelated to writing for the rest of the day.

Freeing my mind from the WIP, even for a few hours, will give me a fresh outlook on where the story is going.  And with a new perspective on what I wrote today, I may find the story and characters are leading me in exciting new directions I hadn’t seen before.

I know I’ll be able to open my document tomorrow and start fresh because I’ve given myself some space from the work.

Are you able to recognize the moment when you reach this point in your own writing?  Do you attempt to force the writing, or do you work on something else?  How does your approach work for you?  Please share your experiences in the comments.