I rely on my intuition quite a bit. It's one of those gifts from God that helps us simply know what to do in certain circumstances. I find it's a lot like instinct, only smarter. ;)
This is a lovely excerpt from Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird book on writing. I think she puts it beautifully, in regards to intuition in writing:
"Sometimes intuition needs coaxing, because intuition is a little shy. But if you try not to crowd it, intuition often wafts up from the soul or subconscious, and then becomes a tiny fitful little flame. It will be blown out by too much compulsion and manic attention, but will burn quietly when watched with gentle concentration.
So try to calm it down, get quiet, breathe, and listen. Squint at the screen in your head, and if you look, you will see what you are searching for, the details of the story, its direction-- maybe not right this minute, but eventually. If you stop trying to control your mind so much, you'll have intuitive hunches about what this or that character is all about. It is hard to stop controlling, but you can do it. If your character suddenly pulls a half-eaten carrot out of her pocket, let her. Train yourself to hear that inner voice. Most people's intuition is drowned out by folk sayings. We have a moment of real feeling or insight, and then we come up with a folk saying that captures the insight in a kind of wash. The intuition may be real and ripe, fresh with possibilities, but the folk saying is guaranteed to be a cliche, stale and self-contained."
She goes onto say, "Be careful, if your intuition says that your story sucks, makes sure it really is your intuition and not your mother."
LOL! I love that. It's so true. We have so many rationales, so to speak, sometimes we can't free the real character that wants to come out! I think what she's saying also has a lot to do with why you can't outline everything. Part of being true to the story is letting it unfold organically and freely. I've got nothing against outlines. I use them religiously when planning a plot. But the actual story comes from letting my characters interact spontaneously. I let them have control, and I'm just the messenger, so to speak.
Hope you're having a lovely H day. Thank you so much for stopping by here.
BTW Did you know Carol Riggs at Artzicarol Ramblings posts the first 250 words of mss and critiques them? How cool is that? It's offered for YA / MG writers and Carol offers a very detailed critique, as well as opens it up for her readers to critique. And let me tell you, her readers are in fine tune with the craft and these are peeps you want giving you feedback. This is totally free and no requirements, other than sticking to the specified genre. Don't write YA / MG? You can still critique others and help them, or at least find some nifty blogs from the talented writers who do read Carol's awesome reviews.
So tell me ...
What are your thoughts on intuition? Do you find it easy to listen to while writing? Or while doing other things? Call me biased, but I believe females have a keener sense of intuition. Just call it my woman's intuition .... ;)