While I was writing the second episode of Oddawa, on Sunday, I was reminded why I enjoy writing: each new project is an adventure in discovery.
When I started out writing, on Sunday, I knew only that the episode was going to open with the main character getting shot (this is important for a reveal still to come), that the person doing the shooting was going to be a werewolf (or some kind of were-creature), and that it was going to happen on Bate Island — an island in the Ottawa River that I discovered by accident on Google maps a couple of weeks ago.
For some reason, the working title “A Bat Out of Hull” jumped into my brain, as I opened the Google Doc. Perhaps, it was because, on Saturday, I had finally watched The Dark Night (pretty good, but a bit long) AND The Dark Night Returns (pretty faithful to the original, ergo, awesome!).
As I wrote the new episode, I had to ask myself questions to figure out what was going on and why. As I answered the questions that demanded answers, the larger story became much clearer. Then, the details for this particular episode fell into place.
I’m also pretty sure that. whatever I may think the main story is right now, it will eventually change, as I write more episodes. I know where I’m going, but I’m willing to bet, whenever I finish, it won’t be where I expected.
I had the same kind of experience writing essays for philosophy, which is probably why I stayed at it for so long. Whenever I wrote a paper, I had the basic idea of where I was headed, but would only find out where I went, by the end of it. Often, I ended up somewhere totally unexpected.
Writing = thinking = discovery. Repeat, in any order.
It seems to me that the story of writing is a lot like any good story. There’s always a clear beginning, middle, and end. There’re obstacles to overcome along the way, and the protagonist — that is, the writer — always learns something by taking the journey.
Is your experience of writing/creating similar? Or is the thrill different for you?