I’ve often heard the quote from doctors when they are trying to explain something medical “it’s not an exact science.” Well it has always seemed perfectly obvious to me that life, the universe and probably most things are not an ‘exact science.’ It is why I’ve always quite liked the quote ‘God laughs at people who make plans.’
In a way these two quotes go hand in hand.
There are of course quite a few exact sciences and lots of plans are made that get fulfilled whether God laughs in the face of them or not. So it does work both ways. Obviously.
I think quite a lot about how life pans out: the irregularities, ill fate, happy fate, coincidences, successful plans, unfulfilled plans, weird occurrences, unexpected happenings and so on and so forth. From my own personal experiences I’ve always had a wry grin to myself about how random my life has been and wonder, if I’d been the kind of person to plan things how would I feel right now?
I can’t imagine how that other life would have been, because quite frankly, it doesn’t fit with my personality.
When it comes to writing, my own personality apparently dictates how I formulate my stories. I am not a planner and there is certainly no exact science involved. In fact, ‘formulate’ is the wrong word because there is no formula involved.
Each story starts with an idea that comes from either something I have seen in the news, overheard when out and about, or purely from my overblown, sometimes weird and wonderful imagination. While I have control over the idea and naturally thoughts on how the story should progress, once the characters develop, somehow they take over and then the outcome is as much a surprise to me as it will be to the reader.
This isn’t by design.
To tell the truth I would like more control over storylines and to be able to have much more control over what these characters do but once they are formed I am forced to let them get on with it.
I know that many novelists who are affiliated to publishers become very successful because they are able to write to a formula. It’s brilliant having a formula that works so well, especially when it seems to guarantee success. On the other hand, I have read interviews with other authors (such as my great favourite Murakami) who also seem to have the same reality as myself. Create a character and he/she becomes so real and alive, he/she develops a personality that ends up dictating to you, the person who should be planning the whole story. Every time I write, I can hear God laughing out loud!
Therein lies my delight at self-publishing. I won’t be forced to write to any formula. I might not be as successful because of this and that is a concern but who knows?
Every time you read a story from Petra Kidd you will be getting a piece of my personality. You can be assured the story wasn’t cynically plotted to attract your attention but created out of the pure ether of my imagination or a desire to expand on a real life story hijacked by my created characters who then take on a life of their own.
My writing is quite definitely not an exact science but it does portray life!
Download my ebooks The Eight of Swords and The Putsi (Sequel to The Eight of Swords) at Amazon and Smashwords