Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Watch out for low flying attack squirrels.

Today’s blog is about letting observation of the world around you add a kick to your writing (yes, even you plotters ;)). Last night I was working on the Glass Gargoyle manuscript. I’m in the last couple of chapters and things are pulling together very nicely. One element that has been very fun has been an ongoing battle between my faeries (sidekicks of my main character) and a family of squirrels.

I’m at a point where some of that conflict is turning out to have ties to the main plot and primary conflict. I’m writing along, enjoying the ride (I’m a seat of the pants writer, so it’s new to me at this point too) when I realize those squirrels shouldn't’ even be there.

Now, while I am a “play it as it goes” writer, I do have an idea of where things will end up. I know the major characters, the main direction of the plot, and the “big bads” of the story.

But I didn’t have the squirrels.

The squirrels in this book, which have become a nice sub-plot, funny tie in, and now a link to some major plot points, started because one day I took my lap top to the park.

Yup, Balboa Park. Sat my beach chair under a tree, kicked up my feet, and started writing. And was immediately harassed by squirrels.

Just one really.

But he kept scurrying close, then running off, jumping in his tree, even chittering at me (not sure what squirrel swearing sounds like- but he was doing it!). Basically making it impossible to concentrate on my writing. So I wrote him into my book and decided my faeries were going to get in trouble for fighting with a squirrel family.

That was early in the plot. I used it a few times, worked well for “off camera” action for the faeries. Then I realized the truth behind the squirrels and the connection with the story line (I can’t tell you- hopefully one day you’ll read the book ;)).

Which brings me to now. Writing about these squirrels that weren’t supposed to be in this book at all, and now are part of pulling the plot together. My story has changed because of these little rodents. All because a squirrel took exception to me writing under his tree.

So today’s thought is always be on the lookout for the little things around you- you never know when they might be just what you need to get things moving. (Or to pick a fight with a bunch of drunken faeries and change your plot for the better ;)).


  1. Hehe. I always pay attention to squirrels because one day in college the transformer went out for the campus because of a kamikaze squirrel.

    He got a real shock and didn't survive. We got out of class a few days because it was spring and the air couldn't be turned on.