Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aha! Now You're On To Something! by Sandra Ardoin

One of the things I love about writing is the “Aha!” moment. I’m not talking about the moment in the story when your main character discovers where he took the wrong path or determines his thinking is a lie. I’m talking about that time when I, as the author, find I’ve inadvertently included something in the manuscript that becomes the key to the story.

Whether you’re a plotter, a pantser, or something in-between (like me), you’ve experienced what I mean. That word, sentence, action, or tidbit that leaps from your brain onto the screen without planning and ends up being what you use to tie up loose ends, slip in an unexpected plot point, or deepen the climax. Discovering the reason for that entry is a euphoric experience.

I recently completed a story that gave me fits. It did NOT want to be written—at least not the way I intended to write it. I thought the climax needed a certain action, and the heroine… Ugh! Don’t even get me started on her rebellion. 

After begging God for the answer to wrangling that puppy to a completion, He pointed me to something I had included at the beginning. It wasn’t much, just a simple term my hero used for his nephew’s bedroom. That term became the motivation for a scene that led to a satisfying conclusion. It was not the ending I had envisioned. It was a simple revelation that made all the difference in the world to my hero.

Isn’t that the way it usually is in our own lives? We don’t always need something to explode in our faces to see where we’ve gone wrong. Sometimes, we only need a word (or advice) inserted at the right time and in the right context.

You can call the insertion of these gems "luck" all you want. I call it God writing His will through me.

What about you? What was your last "Aha!" moment in your writing (or life)? Share your experience.

~~~


Sandy writes inspirational historical romances with stalwart heroes who melt the hearts of her spirited heroines. Her goal is to entertain the reader with a gripping story while revealing the depth of God’s love and forgiveness. As well as being the Wednesday hostess on the Seriously Write blog, she blogs at www.sandraardoin.com. You’ll also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sandy is the married mother of a young adult. She enjoys reading, country music, and gardening in her rocky, North Carolina soil.

17 comments:

  1. Great post, Sandy! I always get "aha's" just as I'm falling asleep, so I keep a notebook and pen on the bedside table. I love when you said you begged God for help. Yes, been there. Done that.

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  2. Yes, I don't see how any writer who has been doing this more than a day can avoid begging at some point. :)

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  3. Oooh, I LOVE it when that happens! Sometimes those gems just need a little time to percolate. I'm so glad you discovered your "Aha!" moment, Sandy!!

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    1. Exactly, Dora. I love it when I'm just toodle-looing along and discover that something I've written in the third chapter (or sixth or tenth) is key to the climax.

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  4. I'm not kidding when I say this JUST happened last night! I was reading a writing resource book and it was talking about backstory...and I realized I had not tied up a loose end regarding my heroine's mother's view of men...when Aha! I knew exactly how I would clarify it. I knew God had revealed this to me, but just "happening" upon this post of yours this morning clenches it :-)

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    1. Isn't that amazing? And those times are so faith building, not only from a spiritual standpoint, but from a writing standpoint. Thanks, Roanne. :)

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  5. I've had so many "Aha" moments! Just recently, I was writing an emotional scene, when my character simply stopped and "decided" to love this new person in her life and stop dragging up the past. I was so surprised, but then I realized that suited her personality perfectly.

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    1. Those characters! They're so unpredictable! :)

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  6. Great post, Sandra! I had been struggling all week with where my current story was going. The H/H each had their own conflict to deal with, but I needed somehow to link them together and couldn't figure it out. Then yesterday morning while I was brushing my teeth, the solution just popped into my head. A little rewriting in earlier chapters and I'm on a roll again!

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    1. Congratulations for the break-through! Usually happens to me while I'm in the shower. I'm the cleanest writer on the block!

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  7. In my first book, my heroine tells the hero there is no such thing as luck. Only the hand of God. Whew, am I grateful for it, too! Great article, Sandy!

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  8. Great post, Sandy. Glad to hear an author say they begged God for help. Why not? We do write for Him. Those aha moments are so special. I need more of them.

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    1. I was in quite a begging mood that day...um, week, Terri! Thanks!

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  9. Super post, Sandra. I beg God a lot...those aha's are kinda like a seed that you gotta wait to sprout. Sometimes my sprouts come after a good night's sleep with a little prayer before hand. xo

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  10. Thanks, Tanya! Yes, we never know when those little seeds will sprout, but they're so awesome when they do.

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  11. Oh how I LOVED this post! I'm just about to deliver my latest WIP to my agent and it gave me fits too! But every single story I wrote had that AHA moment, and it's all God! It's those moments that give me chills and remind me that the story is all His:) I love as an author when we look back and see something He wove in that we didn't even see in the moment. Best part!

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