I don’t know

leaves
www.carolineallen.com

All writers have to learn to live in the place of “I don’t know”.

Novels are complex unweildy animals. If you know how every scene is going to unfold, you’re being too controlling. Perhaps you have a general idea of where the novel is going and that’s fine, but to know too much is a sure prelude to writer’s block. If you think you know how it SHOULD go, you won’t let the novel go where it WANTS to go.

Live in “I don’t know”, let the characters tell you what they want to do. Stop controlling the process and watch magic unfold.

When I work with clients, at first many think I know where their novel is headed. I don’t. I don’t know. I’ve practiced long and hard to be comfortable in the zone of “I don’t know”. My power as a coach lies in the fact that I’m so happy in the “I don’ know” place.

I don’t know what will happen next with their characters or plot. I don’t know when they’ll finish the novel or memoir. I don’t know if it will sell. All of these considerations are about the future. If you stay deeply in the present with what you’re writing, plot, characters, themes, etc really will work themselves out.

I’m also quite psychic (in fact have worked and still do sometimes as an international tarot reader). People ask: “How do you see the future?”

I just see the present very deeply, and it’s like seeing the past and the future. But it’s all just one perpetual present. The same can be said for novel writing.

I’m a writing coach: www.artofstorytellingonline.com

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