Here’s how crazy my writing process can be: I open the next chapter of my manuscript in a restaurant. Protagonist, father and son sitting at a table, waiting for their pancakes.
Why are we here? I ask myself.
I honestly don’t know.
Father and son begin a conversation. Protagonist listens.
Still not sure why we’re here. Can’t just be here for this conversation. This could have happened anywhere. It’s not even that interesting.
Waitress arrives with food. Maybe this is it. Nope, she’s not important. Darn. I was thinking that maybe we are here for her. But no.
Let me look around this restaurant a little. Take a full, 360 degree peek.
Ah ha! There he is! Sitting at the table across the room. I don’t know who that is, but let’s go over and find out. This is why we are here. This is why I started this chapter in this restaurant.
This is precisely the dialogue that took place in my head as I wrote the first 500 words of the chapter. In my mind’s eye, I scanned the dining room, saw the boy on the other side of the restaurant, sitting next to the red-haired girl, and instantly, I understood why I had started the next chapter here.
We were here for this boy. He is the important part of this chapter. About five hundred words later, I found out why.
Is that crazy or what?
There are many days when I feel more like a chronicler of some alternate reality rather than a novelist in charge of my fictional world.