I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Motivation for Surprises

Amy here...

I never do anything unpredictable. I mean, never. That's why I never understood when writers would say, "Today my character surprised me by doing x, y, z."

But I finally understand. This past weekend, my little brother married his best friend. Hubby and I were supposed to fly in for the wedding with our two month old on Thursday and return on Sunday. Then work went crazy for him. After much discussion, we decided he needed to stay home and take care of things.

So, Haley and I flew from Minnesota to Florida alone. The plan: 1) be a bridesmaid Saturday, 2) fly home on Sunday, 3) enjoy my last week of maternity leave, and 4) go back to work. I loved showing my new daughter off to my extended family and sharing in the joy of Matt and Daphne's wedding. Everthing was going according to plan.

Until Sunday morning. We needed to leave to catch our plane home. But...my extended family planned to leave Monday. I didn't have to go back to work yet. Hubby was working long hours, late nights. And, my mom was driving back to Minnesota on Thursday. Add it all up and...I missed my plane.

On purpose.

Crazy? Maybe. I now have a twenty four hour road trip to look forward to with a two month old. But my motivation to sit by the ocean and spend extra time with my mom and brother, David, tipped the scales. If there is sufficient motivation, I can see why a character might surprise you. I surprised myself.

Has your character ever surprised you? Have you ever surprised yourself? What was the motivation for the unexpected action?

~Amy

P.S. Sorry fellow Ponderers, I know Wednesdays is supposed to be about friendship, but I decided to rebel in all areas of life this week. Hopefully you'll forgive me. And yes, this is the view I've enjoyed since I missed my plane!

24 comments:

  1. Rebel away, Amy!
    I love this post ... it's so outside the box! And I'm glad you missed your plane on purpose.
    Wow ... what if a woman misses her plane on purpose ...

    great Inciting Incident, eh?

    My characters have surprised me more than once. I am beginning to really, really like that part of writing.

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  2. Good for you Amy!!!
    Everyone needs to take a breather and what better way than with the family you love!

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  3. Good for you Amy!!!
    Everyone needs to take a breather and what better way than with the family you love!

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  4. Ohhh, TEE, you're right! That would be a fun inciting incident. I can tell you from experience it makes you feel giddy and like you're living on the edge!

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  5. AT, it's been totally worth it! I miss Gregg and my puppy, but otherwise I'd do it again!

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  6. How wonderful! What a neat post and great picture too! Glad you got to make the trip. :-)

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  7. Way to go, I'd rebel too for a day at the beach.
    I hope you have a great trip home.
    Yes my characters have surprised me and when I go back to look at my "plot" I wonder what happened.

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  8. Oh, but the post IS about friendship. Because I know, deep down, the REAl reason you missed the plane was so you could come see me... ;-)

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  9. Amy, I loved this post! What freedom there is in choices, huh? :) I love that you chose outside the box. My characters are surprising me too, and I'm learning to flow with them when they do. :)

    Hope your drive home with your wee girl is/was wonderful. I already know the beach was. :)

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  10. First, rebellion forgiven. hehehe...

    Second, I might be a little jealous right now...the ocean AND the opportunity to hang out with Jenness?

    Third, oh yes, my characters have surprised me in the past. I love it when that happens!

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  11. We more than forgive you. And this is about friendship--to your family and yourself, also very important and too little of in today's world. Have a great and memorable road trip!

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  12. So glad to have "the rest of the story..." I've been following on FB and saw you'd missed your plane. What a neat twist! My characters surprise me all the time. In my current wip, the 9-year-old has decided his mom needs a husband and he needs a dad. And he knows exactly who it should be. Didn't see that one coming.

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  13. Yep, my characters surprise me too. I love that!

    So glad you missed your plane to spend time with your family. Priceless!

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  14. Thanks, Paula! The view has been spectacular and the memories, priceless!

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  15. Thanks, Jackie! It's been worth it, even if the trip home is crazy! I'm glad your character's have surprised you too!

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  16. Oh, Jenness, you're right. I TOTALLY wanted to see you! Can't wait to today!

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  17. Jeanne, you're right choosing out of the box choices is fun. I'll have to do it more often! Good job giving your characters the freedom to surprise you!

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  18. Thanks M-Tagg, for the forgiveness! I would be jealous of seeing Jenness, too! Miss you, too.

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  19. Thanks, Dee, good point! I plan on enjoying the road trip!

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  20. Ohh, Pat! I love the rest of the story! And how fun that your 9 year old character is taking the reins!

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  21. Roxanne, it is priceless. I can't believe you live in Oviedo now! I could have seen you if my parents didn't move!

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  22. Thank you, Amy, for not making me ask you why you missed your plane on purpose and were still on the beach. (Like Pat I've been following your escapades on facebook, but there were too many ways to read between the lines!!) I'm so glad you got this wonderful time before you head back to work. There's just something about being by water...Craig and I didn't want to come home from our Canadian getaway, but he had to go back to work, and our boys were home alone.

    I never understood how authors lost control of their characters, especially since I used to be a complete control freak. I probably wouldn't have let my characters rebel!! Then I *really* started writing...I actually even had a whole new character show up!! Then I understood it.

    And I am sooooooooooo jealous you get to see Jenness. Hug her for me!!

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  23. Heidi, you're right, there is something amazing about the ocean. Funny that you were following my escapades on Facebook! Jenness is coming over...I'm sooooo excited!

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  24. Yes, I have a character in my WIP who just shocked me with something she did. I suppose a better way to put it would be to say that a crazy idea popped into MY head of what SHE would do. As long as it's completely in character, it's okay--I love when my characters go beyond what I'd imagined for them. Good post!

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