There are still a lot of people that don’t understand how a story can just ‘get away’ from an author. After all, you’re the writer, you control how things go, right? You make all the decisions for the characters, you set the tone, the place, the time, and every last increment of the story, correct?
Yes and no.
Yes in the manner that you do in fact decide where everything goes and how people interact. No, because the more you know concerning what you’re writing about, the more automatic the process becomes. Is that still unclear? Well to put it in a very simple way, the story takes hold of the information that YOU know and takes off on its own using your knowledge as the guide.
It’s true, it’s hard for those that don’t write and don’t often think outside the box, or the lines, or whatever’s containing your well-ordered world, to really conceive of the idea of a story writing itself. It needs an author, right? Of course it does, but it doesn’t always need the author to be fully cognizant of what’s going on to write since if you’ve ever heard or seen a writer that simply sits down and begins to write then you might have heard tell of how some of them can simply black out for a time only to come to and wonder just what they’ve been doing for that period of time in which they seemed to have ‘lost’.
Speaking from personal experience it’s entirely possible to lose time, from minutes to hours at a time, simply banging away on the keyboard and forming a story that is in large part the product of the author but also a deeper, more cognizant part of their mind that is taking control and doesn’t seem to need to stop and think about things as the story comes together like a puzzle being placed piece by piece without hesitation.
If you want to get literal about this then yes, breaks are needed now and again if you enter this state as the body will always have demands. But again, most of this is automatic. The controlling part of your brain is on standby, autopilot, or whatever you want to call it, and the more creative side, the imaginative aspect of your mind, has taken over and isn’t going to be relinquishing control until it’s said what has to be said.
It can be disorienting, different, and even a bit disconcerting at times if you wake from one of these states and have to wonder at the darkness on the page and just where it came from. But in many cases, it’s nothing short of amazing, and insanely interesting.