The Writing Magic

Why do we write?

During the long hours of editing, the critiques and rewrites, the formatting and marketing, we might find ourselves asking this… why the hell do we write?


We write for when the Writing Magic happens.

As a planster (a plotter AND a panster) I have an outline divided into chapters, each chapter containing a paragraph or two explaining the events that need to happen in the chapter, and the goals and important events. That’s the sum of my plan when I set out to write a chapter.

I sit at my computer, my plan on the screen, and struggle to find the words to begin. They come grudgingly, haltingly, like a tooth being pulled.

And then… the Writing Magic happens.


The scene suddenly overcomes me. The characters start shouting and doing things all on their own. The plan diverges, tangents, and skews. I watch from above the keyboard as the scene unfolds, its skeleton similar to what  I have planned, but its meat and flesh far richer than I could ever have dreamed of planning. My characters stride around their world confident in their place in the scene, commanding and crafting the situation and environment around them. I have no power over them; they clamour and dictate what’s to come next, never dithering and unsure like me. They are supreme in the ownership of their destinies.

I watch the scene almost helpless to direct it until… it’s done. The scene is finished. Never exactly as I’ve planned, but born almost of its own volition.

THAT’S the Writing Magic…

…and THAT’S why I write.

*Note: the concept of panstering and plotting is an intriguing one. I urge you to click the link above and check out what the Story Empire gang has to say on the matter.

26 thoughts on “The Writing Magic

  1. Yes, writing magic (love it). That’s a cool image of the typist’s hands and typewriter. Have you ever written on a typewriter? I have, ages ago, but I don’t even know if you can still get ink-ribbons for those old typewriters!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That is really true, innit. I will be slogging through edits (as I am now) and then, out of the blue, words will align and my message will pop out. It gives me a high nothing else can (well, maybe my dog. Yeah).

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You describe the “magic” perfectly. That’s it, the moment when the story starts telling itself. When I first experienced it I thought I had tapped into an alternate dimension. I really did think it was magic. Ha ha.

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  4. That magic is the best thing ever … well, you know what I mean … I can’t think of much that comes close! Like you, I’m a plantser, and I love it when the story starts writing itself. Thanks for the Story Empire shoutout, Jessica, and best of luck with the writing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure Harmony. As I said to Staci, this is something that really resonates with me. Until I read Joan’s post I used to wonder which I was, planner or panster as neither seemed to fit. The idea of Planster was so comforting. It’s like, yay, I have a place in the writing world now!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. On a good day. There are days when the Writing Magic doesn’t happen and it’s like pulling teeth the whole session. Then there are those days when the act takes over and I go along for the ride. I love those days.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a great post about something writers strive for–those moments of magic when the stars align, floodgates open, and characters run with the story. You captured it well, Jess.

    And many thanks for mentioning Story Empire. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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