Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tip O'Day #436: The Discovery of Drafting

Guest blogger Kourtney Heintz on the journey to find your story.

The first fifty pages came easily to me, but then I hit a wall. I’d laid out my initial conflict, had my inciting incident, and set my characters on their path. What came next?

I didn’t know. There were several directions the book could go in. It could be about them fixing up the house. It could be about their foibles trying to adjust to country life, but I wanted it to be more. Deeper. Darker.

So I paused and pondered. Spent a few weeks playing “what if.” Kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book, except I would imagine each possibility to its rightful ending inside my head.

Generally, I’m a planner and a plotter, but this book didn’t want to follow the rules. Sometimes the story is waiting to be revealed. Mine took some unexpected turns, evolving into a literary thriller.

I had no idea this would happen. No clue when I first met my characters that we would all end up where we did. That’s part of the discovery of drafting. Even when you think you know where you’re headed, sometimes the story takes you in a completely different direction.

That unexpected detour enriches the entire novel.

Kourtney Heintz resides in Connecticut with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, her supportive parents and three quirky golden retrievers. Years of working on Wall Street provided the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run amok at night, imagining a world where out-of-control telepathy and buried secrets collide.
Her debut novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin, was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist, and can be purchased for Kindle here.