Why does my toaster go up to “burn and char the bread” level? I never need to turn it up that high.

Why do cars go up to 150 mph when it’s illegal to drive them that fast, anywhere?

Why does my heater go up to 90 degrees when no one ever wants to be that hot?

Why do I need separate volume controls on my computer speakers, in Windows itself, AND on the YouTube page?

Why does Google give me results like this when I type “Why does…?”:

Why_does..._Why am I asking all of these questions in a blog post? Simple, that one I can answer. Because I just woke up and almost burnt my bagel this morning, and this is the train of thought my mind took.

It ended up someplace one normally wouldn’t expect… after all, who can predict a thought about burnt toast would lead to all of these other questions? Yet, I went with it.

This is something I do quite often in my writing (okay, I’ll admit the paths aren’t usually THIS strange). I’ll start off a story with a basic idea of where I want to go, and then before I know it, one idea has led into another and then another. By the end, the story is nothing like what I originally planned. Usually, this is a good thing. I often find that the ideas that strike me in the middle of writing are better than whatever I had originally thought up. Rather than stopping myself and saying “But this isn’t what I planned!”, I just run with it and let it take me wherever it wants.

I recommend giving it a try sometime. You might end up with some really fascinating ideas. Odds are they’ll flow from one to the other in a way you didn’t expect, but which might work really well. Don’t fight it.

And don’t ask “why?”

Cut and Gone

So I sat down and did some serious revisions today. Worked on them for a good three or four steady hours. I got through several chapters, added some necessary changes to three particular scenes that I knew needed work, and all in all made some decent progress.

I also did some of the cuts I mentioned I had to do. I hacked out six full pages that I felt weren’t helping the story. Of course, there’s still quite a bit more that I feel like I might need to cut soon. I just haven’t entirely decided what yet. The pages I cut today were chosen because I was working on those sections during the three scenes I mentioned above. Part of what I changed and added to those three scenes was essentially replacing the stuff that wasn’t helping the story with different (albeit indirectly related) stuff that was.

Hopefully the rest of the cuts will come soon. Meanwhile I’ve got about another 170 pages of revisions to get through in the coming weeks. I’m still shooting for a July 1st deadline.