Lessons Learned on Vacation

I'm baaaack!  I'm so glad to be home.  We loved our time with our family in Cali and thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Vegas, but man its good to be home.  While vacationing I had plenty of time to think if not write.

One of the things I realized is that I'm a bit too much of a planner.  I sent my itinerary a week ahead to our relatives and had Disneyland completely mapped out.  I knew the rids we wanted to hit, the characters we wanted pictures with, and where we wanted to eat. 

The thing about planning everything out is that something is bound to go wrong and put a wrench in your plans--especially when you're with two young babies and a dozen other family members.

Right off the bat things started going wrong.  My mom got sick, the kids were cranky, the family wanted to ride the big people rides.  So I tossed out my plan and decided to wing it.  Thank heavens everything turned out fine and there was no blood shed.  We didn't get to do everything I wanted us too, but we did a few things I loved that I never would have done if not for my family's prodding.

I'm the same way with writing.  I start out over planning.  My character charts, story arcs, and outlines are so detailed and organized that I'm sure everything will go so smoothly once I sit down to write.  But the thing about writing is sometimes it goes in directions you never planned.  Just like the members of my family, my characters have their own agendas and often times it messes with my carefully laid plans.  But that's okay.  Sometimes its even great.  When my characters take on a life of their own and refuse to follow the road I've meticulously laid for them I know they are three dimensional.

As a writer (and a mom) it's my job to keep everyone in line and safe, but allow them freedom to deviate from the plan and explore on their own.

For an exercise this week I'm going to only do minimal outlining and see where a short story takes me.


  1. Wow. I can't believe you can plan out things in general like that because I can't at all! I have tried to keep a planner for school cause I really do need one, but I just fail. Epically. Cheers to you!!

    I like the way you put it though, that our characters have their own agendas! That's totally correct. They want to do their own thing, and sometimes they are so shocking!! I know that I've definitely been taken off-guard by some things my characters have done in my books.

    What's really funny, if I try to rewrite it, it doesn't work any other way than the way they want it too!! Crazy.


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