I spent my Fourth of July weekend a) working and b) attempting to potty-train my toddler. Also I c) made peach cobbler, which is one of my favorite summery things to make (the peaches aren’t quite peak yet, and they’re not from our tree, but I couldn’t wait any longer). And my kids played, played, played all weekend long.
But I didn’t feel left out because a) they’re kids and playing is their job, of course! and b) my job can be very fun too. One of my favorite parts about writing is the element of play. By that, I mean the way you can play with the words, the characters, the scenario, the plot. You can throw things up into the air and see if they stick, fall down, shatter, break, fall softly, make craters that you can choose to leave or fill in later. And there’s room, when you’re playing, for diversions and difference and changes and choice. One thing gives here to make room for something there; another slides into place and something else slips away. I like this part of writing–when you experiment.
Even in this book, which has scenes I’ve planned for years, and which, in some ways, I’m rather locked into plot-wise (resolving mysteries, having things happen that I’ve set up/alluded to in the previous books) there is so much play. Yes, a certain scene or event needs to happen. But how it happens? What people say? How they feel or look when they say it? How I feel when I read it?
That’s all still up in the air, in some ways.
And it’s so much fun.