Home » blog » IMPROVISE- verb- to compose and perform or deliver without previous preparation

IMPROVISE- verb- to compose and perform or deliver without previous preparation

I am preparing for a writer’s conference, one where I will have to take my big red suitcase- I always love it when I need my big red suitcase, it means I am going to be gone for at least four days. The smaller black suitcase can only accommodate a three-day travel, unless it’s somewhere tropical, where flirty light dresses and swimsuits are what are required.

I am traveling to San Francisco, and I am hoping for fall like weather, crisp cool, boots and sweater weather, not this insanely hot Southern California weather we’ve been having. The least the weather could do is fall back with the time change, fall back and down several degrees and give the illusion of fall.

I have assignments to do before I leave, a whole host of pre-conference assignments before I make my way to my Algonkian Writer’s Conference. It is suppose to be an outstanding conference and from the assignments given I can see why. There is a wide array of assignments meant to give a sense of what makes a novel commercial and marketable, because what sense is there in writing something no one wants to read?

I have been the good student, doing my assignments, dutifully, with intention and commitment. I find them all interesting and thought provoking. I have always wanted to be a good student, as a child I often filled the role of teacher’s pet, my competitive nature always prevalent. I don’t want to be that attendee who hasn’t done their work, who hasn’t paid attention, who isn’t ready. But…I can see a problem…a bone of contention, an area where we will have to agree to disagree… and hard to ask professionals, experts to agree to disagree with someone who is, well the student not the educator…

The materials given discuss the necessity of an outline when writing a novel. The material explains in rational and reasonable detail why an outline is something necessary and valuable. I can understand the reasoning; I can appreciate their view, but I just can’t follow it…

I always have a story to tell before I sit down to write, characters who are dear to me, well known to me, (although sometimes they do have secrets that pop up along the way.) But I never truly know where a story will take me, sometimes a story will take a path I had no idea was even an option… An outline couldn’t possibly allow such deviance.

I once saw an interview with Gillian Flynn where she was talking about one of her novels and she remarked that she didn’t know who the murderer was with only forty pages left to write. Stephen King talks about the boys that bubble up from the basement. I am no Gillian Flynn or Stephen King, but I am a storyteller who can’t seem to follow a script, improvisation suits my literary role.

Maybe, I’ll just keep very quiet when the discussion of outlines comes up…

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