There are many reasons why people write. Sometimes it’s to let loose the stories penned up inside our heads. Sometimes it’s to try and emulate the work of our heroes. Sometimes it’s just a way to try to deal with the craziness in the world.
I know there are times when all of these have been motivating factors for me. But there’s one other factor that can really get me excited about being a writer, and also being a reader for that matter. I like to refer to it as the aha moment.
I suppose we’ve all had instances of that in our lives. That moment when the curtain suddenly draws away and we see things that hadn’t previously been clear. Or maybe the jigsaw puzzle pieces that seemed like nothing more than a blur of colour suddenly come together to produce a single image. There’s a real satisfaction to these kinds of moments.
There’s no telling when the aha moment will come. Sometimes, it’s when I’m actually sitting at a keyboard, and the story element that was tangling my mind into knots is suddenly resolved. More likely, it will happen when I’m away from the screen. I’ll probably be having a walk or relaxing on the couch, or (most likely) trying to get to sleep at 2:00 in the morning when the moment will hit. Whatever I’m doing, it’s a significant moment – a real milestone in the creative process.
Of course, the aha moment isn’t just for me. One of my goals as a writer is to try to translate that moment to the reader’s experience. I want the reader to enjoy the same type of moment, where they get to a point in the story where something significant is revealed, or disparate elements are brought together into a satisfying whole. It’s really fun as a writer to plan for this, figuring out how much to say and when to say it, pacing the narrative and the flow of information in just the right way to enable that aha moment to occur for the reader.
Because I know that it’s also one of my favourite things as a reader to experience an aha moment. It’s what got me into the joys of storytelling in the first place. And now, as a writer, I can still enjoy those moments, possibly even more as I know first hand the craft that goes into creating them.
Hope your week is full of aha moments of the best kind.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as