09 November 2015

Embrace the Weird

Before I get to the actual post, I'd just like to thank everyone for their well wishes last week on my job hunt. I have good news! I got the full time job that I applied for!!! I have orientation next Monday and then start the next day. It's the 11-7:30 shift that I talked about, and I get every other weekend off, so I don't think this will cut into my blogging time. I think I will be taking next week off blogging, though, just to get situated (and work through all of the anxiety...). I'll probably still post this Wednesday (or Friday...or both...) but if not I will be back on the 23rd!

But anyway, onto writing stuff!

I recently had an idea for a scene, and I thought it was a little weird. Ok, technically, it was just part of a scene--the very end, actually, and it was in Book 3. I know, I'm getting way ahead of myself but I just can't help it. But I figure by the time I get around to actually writing the book, I'll probably have it completely figured out and that will make it easier to write.

About this weird moment--well, I don't think I should share the details because it's a bit inappropriate. Let's just say it involves a character texting a family member while...something else is going on. Hopefully you get it. If not, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that my first response to this idea was, "It's too weird! No one would actually do that!" But at the same time, it kind of felt right for the character. It was weirdly bizarre, but in a fascinating and entertaining sort of way.

So what do I do with this scene? Forget it or just go with it?

My initial response was just to forget about it. A million different thoughts cross my mind all the time when it comes to these stories, but I don't always use all of them. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked this moment, not in spite of its weirdness but because of it. Sometimes people do weird things, and those things are usually more entertaining than the normal, boring, or everyday moments that are more likely to occur. So if it's weird, but still believable, why not use it?

What really made sense was that the moment felt right for the character. It actually seems like something he would do. There's actually a scene in the first book that has the same kind of weirdness (it involves lemon bars...I won't get into it...), and I really love that scene. It works in the moment. And if something works, then there really isn't any reason to get rid of it.

The thing about weird scenes is that they definitely won't always work. They have to fit the story, the characters, even the particular scene that they're in. Yes, these moments can seem strange, but they also have to be believable. But if your only reason for not using a particularly weird idea is just because it's weird, then maybe you should rethink it. Sometimes your instincts are right, and those weird scenes can turn out to be something great.

Do you ever come up with weird scenes? Do you try to make them work or get rid of them?


  1. Congratulations on the new job!

    And I'm pretty sure that, at this point, my NaNo novel is one whole giant weird scene.... :)

  2. Congrats on the new job! That's great news.

    Like Madeline, I'm pretty sure everything I've ever written is one giant weird scene. I'd say go for this particular weird scene. It fits your character, so trust your instincts.

  3. Congratulations on the job! Great news!

    People DO weird stuff in real life (going to the bathroom while on a cellphone). It isn't like you're trying to shoehorn in a strange moment your character just wouldn't do. All you can do, when you get there, is write it and see.

  4. Awesome news about the job!
    Write that scene down. Yes it's weird, but I can see it happening.

  5. Congrats on the new job :)! I think if the moment feels right for your character, you should just go with it - you know your characters better than anyone. At the end of the day, if it doesn't fit, you can just cut it out or rewrite it :). The climax of the book I'm writing at the moment is really dark, and I'm starting to wonder whether or not I should keep it as it may be a tad *too* dark for YA...but I'm going to write it anyway and just see what happens :).

  6. Congrats on getting the job!!!! That is awesome news. :)

    I think some people have texted family and friends while something...else...is going on. lol I think that scene would actually be perfect for your story. And it does sound like it would be funny...even memorable. I would write it. If anything, beta readers and your editor can let you know what they think of it. For now, write it!

  7. The weird scenes can be good, especially if they seem "normal" to the character or characters in that scene; then you can use those scenes to reveal something about those characters' values, interests, or personalities.

  8. Well, weird is memorable. Of course, that can be in a good or bad way! It's fun to read something out of the ordinary, so if it works for the character and the story, definitely leave it in.

  9. Congrats on the job!
    I haven't written any weird scene like that, but if it fits your character, go for it.

  10. Congratulations on the job!! Wonderful news.

    I agree with Chrys, that scene sounds like it would be funny. I vote for writing it. :)

  11. Fantastic news about the job! Gainfully employed!

    As for your weird scene, I think I got the gist (X? R?), but go for it anyways. As for coming up with weird scenes, I have come up with numerous. Even fleshed one them out to about 1/3 of a very disturbing novel. Haven't worked on it because, well, it's disturbing.

    Father Nature's Corner

  12. I have an inclination toward the weird. Many of my ideas start with a weird scene which is probably why I don't finish many stories.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out