Caution: writer out of control

This is fun?

I do not like fairgrounds. Or it would be more accurate to say I dislike fairground rides. No, I’m sorry, think they’re horrible. The idea of being turned upside down and whirled around for what seems like hours until I feel ill enough to wish to die is not my idea of fun.

I was once persuaded to go on something called The Rotor. I should have had more sense.

This turned out to be a vast centrifuge, into which I stepped, to find myself bolted in, unable to escape. The centrifuge did what centrifuges do and I spent the entire time wondering in which direction to be sick. I wasn’t, but that isn’t the point.

(If you have never tried The Rotor and feel like giving yourself a semblance of how it might feel, avail yourself of an office chair and spin around in it until you can bear it no longer. And if you are so foolhardy as to attempt this, I take no responsibility for illness or injury.)

The point is, apart from making me feel ill and attempting to bring on a migraine, being strapped into things and being slung about means relinquishing control and I think that’s a big part of what I don’t like.

Do you think this is strange for someone who writes fiction? Is writing a bit of a roller coaster ride all by itself?

For me, I think it is. I do plan my writing, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the circumstances and the length I am writing to, but often my characters develop as they go along, showing hidden depths, little nuances of themselves I did not suspect might be lurking within. So much so that I might have to go back and tinker with the story to include them. Plots develop wiggles too. I have twice re-written novels because what I saw at the planning stage as a perfectly respectable route to the end needed the map redrawing. I did a writing course once where the guy in charge wanted me to outline every single plot point along the way to the end. He wanted me to know what my characters were going to be doing every inch of the way. But characters grow and change, at least mine do, and I would be sad if they didn’t and maybe a little bored if I knew everything all the way to the end. I’ve tried it his way. Don’t like it much.

So I plot a bit and wing it a bit and enjoy the out of control rush of not knowing precisely where all my T’s will be crossed.

So how about you? Are you a Big Dipper Writer or do you take your SatNav along the entire way?


26 responses to “Caution: writer out of control

  1. I love the names of carnival rides…wild cat, thunderbolt, zipper, scrambler…I can compare writing to any one of those….

  2. I am a Zipper (my favorite ride) writer… twisty, turny, out of control, making no sense… you know… me.

    I know the ride you are speaking of, it’s called The Gravetron here. It’s the only ride that I can’t stand. It gives me a massive headache. But, all the other rides… I LOVE!

    Take care of your side of the pond. I’ll watch it over here. It’s election season, so it’s pretty irrational these days. 🙂


  3. I guess I could say I am like the LOG RIDE. It’s nice, slow, relaxing, and well paced until BAM you are going down at the speed of lightening waiting to be splashed all over at the bottom. That’s usually when the story ends. LOL, excellent question, thanks for this.

  4. The Gravitron is great fun, it’s especially cool when you get the guy who can stand on one of the rails in the center and it looks like he’s floating in mid-air.

    If I were to describe my writing as a fairground ride, I’d have to say I’m the big slide you jump on with an old potato sack and ride down. It’s all climb climb climb with an idea of how it’ll go, and then as you ride down it’s one quick rush to the end with some humps in the middle.

    • Yes, that sounds like how I see you! Almost flying down I should think!
      Like the Helter-skelter? If so, that is the one ride I don’t mind.
      I am such a woos even reading your description of the Gravitron makes me feel a little queasy!

      • I learned as a kid its a mistake to climb as high as you can, the gravitron is angled like a space ship (in case you know a different version) and at it’s tips is the most pressure…quite the headache, but lower down it is much better.

        • Er, I will take your word for this and maybe give it a miss. Unless it’s got a steering wheel and a brake? I have always liked to be in control on these things – this is why I don’t like fairground rides.
          Told you I was a woos.

          • Yeah, my biggest conern wth fairground rides is, they’re taken down, travel, and reconstructed…what does that say for safety? Human error is too great for me to ever ride these things again.

          • Oh horrors – I wasn’t even meaning that sort – those that pack up in a box – can’t go on them – they might decide to turn back into boxes whilst I’m on them. Grr! no fear.
            No I meant the safer sort, the sort that are in parks and stay there all year. In the rain. Getting rusty. Not being maintained properly.
            What am I saying?

          • The image of you being consumed by a roller coaster as it converted into a box makes for a great horror story. I can see that being the next Steven King book…not my gambit though.

          • Thanks a bunch.
            I bequeathe that to you – and if you don’t write it then I might – but not with me in the title role heh heh heh!

          • I will not, too many other ideas to work with right now, besides…I’m not much of a horror writer, I just don’t know how to tap into that part of the psyche yet.

          • Oh, you will, you will. Unfortunately, once the writing bug has bitten, we think we can tackle anything.
            It is definitely a case of sitting on ideas and hoping they will go away while you work on the current one.
            I have a file in my computer labelled ‘Ideas’ and I can honestly say that whilst I add things to it constantly, I have never searched in it to find an idea.
            They come out of the woodwork.
            Weird, isn’t it?

          • Yeah, a little strange, but once something is with us I don’t think it can ever really disappear.

  5. Ugh I am not a ride person, either. 😦

  6. Can’t stand rides of any kind (I even feel sick on a merry-go-round).

    But if I were to equate my writing to a ride I would probably say it’s like the ghost train because you never know what’s going to jump off the page at you 😀

    • Oh I like that! You are so right. I can do the merry-go-round as long as it doesn’t go too fast and go on too long.
      No, no rides for me. I’m off to the doughnut stand with Sara Flower. Want to come along?

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