Writing as an audience.
Isn't writing wonderful? I love writing, I know I've spoken about it before, but there's something exciting about writing a story and just seeing where it goes. I often have a theme or an idea that I want to explore, but have no clear plan for where a story is going to go when I first start planning out a treatment. What I'll do is create some characters and a scenario and just allow it play it. Sometimes the results are a bit dull... sometimes they're fantastic.
I'm currently working on a few things, but one in particular is really leaping out at me. I don't want to go into any details, but I just want to talk about the fun of seeing where characters and situations will take you when you genuinely don't know what's going to happen.
Starting off with that blank page is stressful, for sure. Often I find that I'll know roughly what it is I want to say but I'm unsure of how to say it. I start writing down ideas but they go nowhere or they don't seem to fit. Then, suddenly, one course of action will stick, and it'll lead you to the next, and then the next, and before you know it you're three pages into a treatment that is genuinely entertaining.
I think that's the key. I find writing entertaining, but I find it especially entertaining when I'm writing as though I'm the audience. When I don't know where this is going to wind up anymore than you do, or any other member of the audience for that matter. Allowing the characters to react to things in the way that they do and just seeing what happens.
It can lead to all manner of bizarre and interesting things. Looking back over my (still unfinished) treatment thus far and I can honestly say this isn't how I expected things to go down. It's taken turn after turn after turn, moving from one thing to the next. Having something clearly stated as a theme, but not knowing where that theme will take you means that things can be unexpected. Plot points that you would have never thought up when you started with that blank page suddenly burst their way out and you have to deal with the problems and issues they throw up, leading you to yet more unexpected turns and beats.
Of course, this only works if you have set characters you understand and can consider their reactions. When I create characters I often give them only one or two personality traits as a jumping off point, knowing that they we develop and change the further into writing a get. This means it's easy to consider what action they might take to a new development within the plot, and that, in turn, means you wind up in some rather unexpected places.
This is why I love writing. The unexpectedness and uncertainty of it. I'm excited to see where this all goes, and hopefully by next week I'll have finished the initial treatment and will be working on fleshing it out and making it more solid. But it's fun, isn't it?