I've been thinking a lot lately about how stories can really just come from INSIDE. I got a beautiful comment about my current WIP. A new beta reader said, "Don't get too many opinions on this. You have a true story here, and you have to tell it."
That pretty much made my day. Well, that was last week, so I guess it made my week. Anyways, I avoided a lot of mistakes with this book, and I don't understand how or why. This character was going to be an only child with no friends. I just came across this post by Justine Larbalestier about why that would have been a bad idea (boring, unrealistic, etc.)
Lucky me: when I wrote the first draft, this character ended up having a sister who blames her for a lot of things and a crew of "friends." Not great people to be around sure, but they exist, and it is...complicated.
Also, this book was going to sci-fi and it ended up being an alternate contemporary. Not that sci-fi is a problem, but it just didn't fit.
This book was going to be in third-person. It wouldn't come out that way and it had to be in first. I'm so glad that it is.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, no matter how much we plan, we always surprise ourselves. I love not knowing what will happen, even if I think I've got it all figured out. I think writing is magic. I think it's a lovely mix of slow dedication and some serious impulse.
So, enjoy what you're working on and let your heart override any bad decisions your mind might try to impose on your characters.
I love that sister, BTW.