Novel Writing and Schizophrenia

In my limited experience, these two things are well-paired.

I hit 60,000 words last night and completed Part Two of what could be a four-part book. I initially thought it would be three parts, but the characters are telling me otherwise. I’ve strayed so far from the outline I wrote four weeks ago that there’s no point in looking at it anymore. The characters are in charge and I’m doing my best to accommodate them. Like everything else I try to control, it has slipped out of my hands.

Last night’s bout of writing is a great example. I was skating along in a chapter, going where I was being led, when the scene suddenly ended. It didn’t end where I originally planned, but the character made it clear that it was time to stop and shift. So I did. (She’s a bit bossy.)

Likewise, my main character surprised me last night with a bold move and I let her roll with it. I couldn’t say no.

In other news, I’m on the verge of completing my last assignment for Literary Theory and I’m thoroughly relieved about it. It was a required class, but it couldn’t have been more out of my realm of interest and ability. You know what’s not well-paired? Novel writing and Literary Theory.

Have you missed the boys? I’ve not forsaken them completely. Here they are, all three of them:

Autumn day at the park



5 thoughts on “Novel Writing and Schizophrenia”

  • I know how you feel about the characters taking over and directing the story. About a year ago I wrote a comic book script where a certain character (a monster) was supposed to appear 100% in the flesh in part 4 of the story. (The damage this monster caused started appearing as early as part 3.) But by the time I got to the end of part 4, something said, “No, let him appear in part 5 (the final section).” And I think my story was made better by not fighting that voice and crowbarring him into part 4.

    • Yes, I think it’s best not to fight. It will be obvious in the story if scenes feel contrived. I didn’t realize how the characters would interact with me during this process, but so far it’s been a great experience.

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