Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Searching for Treasure

Photo courtesy of Stoonn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
One of the joys and frustrations I find in writing fiction is when I start out to write I’m frequently unsure of what will come out on the page. That’s not entirely true all of the time as I try to finish each day leaving some crumbs for the next. I learnt that from an author whose name I now forget (but I think quite a famous one) wrote that was part of his daily writing routine: “leave some crumbs for tomorrow.”

Perhaps that’s because I’m a pantser, you plotters may have a far different experience but I expect there will still be days when a character completely surprises you with what they do, say or think.

But I know that for most of us turning up each day (or whatever your routine is) is often the key battle of the day. If the crumbs I left behind the night before are meager it makes that struggle of putting the first words down on the page even harder.

However, the more I write, the more I find joy in the process. Heck, if there’s no joy in it, then why do it? Right? And much of that joy comes from both the anticipation of and then excitement of discovering something special as the words flow (or bleed out as it can often be) on the page. Like we’ve stumbled across hidden treasure.

Only today one of my villains revealed to me something that caught me off guard. It was a delicious moment as all of a sudden it unlocked a mystery that had stumped me for a while. Very quickly I was able to visualize Book 3 that had me jumping with joy.

Aren’t those days extra special when a gold nugget miraculously appears out of the many (or sometimes a few) words you’ve written that day?

The mystery of Jesus

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”(Colossians 1:27 NIV)

I read that verse the other day and the aspect of Jesus mystery struck me. The more we dig, the more He reveals of Himself. The treasure that He is and that we are united in Him.

And in revealing more of Himself, Jesus reveals more of us.

Just like our stories unfold as we sit down each day with our manuscripts, Jesus unfolds more of Himself each day.

I reckon that’s pretty good reason to turn up each day to my quiet space with Jesus and to my manuscript.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. Thanks for this, Ian. I am officially a non-fiction writer, yet I write novels for fun, and I love it when my characters take on their own lives and leave me to figure out what they'll do next.

    1. Thanks Shirley. It's always fun when a character does the unexpected.

  2. I totally relate to this post, Ian. I'm positive my special time with the Lord not only blesses me but gives purpose for the day which flows into my writing. Gotta confess I'm a Pantser who would love to be a Plotter. Though when I've tried, it bogs me down. However, I do have a very rough idea of how the story will end. And like you, when I know my characters well, they head me in the right direction through the middle and on to the goal.

    1. High five, Rita. Another pantser. I tried so hard with my sequel to become a plotter but my characters just rejected it. Well, that's what I tell everyone.

      Thanks for popping by to comment.

  3. So true, Ian. And oh, yes, I love it when the villain turns around and surprises me, or turns out to be someone I didn't even plan! :)

  4. Hi Ian, I usually finish up for the day mid scene, with a few brief notes on what will happen next. Or, I do a stream of consciousness fast draft on the next scene that I can play with and edit the next day. I find it so much easier to start my writing day and not procrastinate if I'm already in the middle of the action. I love those Ah moments when the gold nugget appears, out of nowhere :).