September 28, 2020

One of my quirks as a writer is that once I’ve written details into a story, I tend to believe that’s the way it is.

For example, in this draft of WAR: Retaliation, there’s a once-in-a-century storm about to hit. The wind is racing through the city. The clouds are roiling overhead.

But having a too-dangerous-to-drive-in storm hitting at that particular moment shuts down the action. I need Dev and Imara to be on the road, not hunkered down somewhere waiting for the storm to pass while their quarry gets away.

I don’t know how long I struggled with this before I remembered that the storm isn’t set in stone. I created it. I can lessen its power. Send it on a trajectory that causes it to miss where my characters are.

Or, you know, just do away with the storm altogether.

Photo of a yellow sign with Thunderstorms Ahead and a stormy sky with lightning forking toward the ground

Background image licensed from Depositphotos. Copyright Sergey Nivens.

Yet I continued to meet resistance from the part of me that wholeheartedly believes that what is on the page is true for the story. I had to force myself to make the necessary changes so that the action could move forward. But the storm is no longer as powerful.

At least for that part of the book.

Changing the weather. One of the unspoken writerly superpowers.

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