My brother had a baseball coach way, way back when we were little that once told his team and its supporters that he'd rather be lucky than good. At the time, I was like nine or ten and this didn't really make an impact on me. Besides, I was certain that in sports as in everything else talent is what would make you a success, right?
Now, before anyone jumps up with a harsh retort, let me finish. Talent and success can get you a long way. You can become successful, but it isn't always enough. If there are two teams equally matched in talent, how does one win over the other? It is often the team that gets a lucky break. Whether a close call goes their way, an error opens up an opportunity, the sun got in someone's eyes, or a ball just happens to bounce the right way, luck can often become the deciding factor. No matter how much talent you have, a bad call or a lucky bounce can snatch defeat from certain victory.
You may be asking yourself what all this has to do with writing, and I'll tell you. Other than I'm a major sports nut and my team's game was rained out leaving me with a whole day of no baseball -- being lucky is important in writing as well. Forget all the luck involved in getting your story noticed or having just the right reader see it at the right time to mention it on just the right blog or forum to catapult you to success. The luck I'm talking about is in the crafting stage of a story.
I just recently finished a book. I'd had an idea for another story rattling around and I was adding paragraphs and scenes here and there fleshing it out slowly as I did other things. Then wham! It hits me. A totally different story crept right up behind me and blindsided me. Suddenly, everything else went silent as this new cast of characters pushed and shoved at me trying to get the story straight. In the beginning, I couldn't even keep up with the story. The plot moved along so fast. I wore my fingers out writing.
I don't know why suddenly, now at this time this particular story just demanded for me to write it. The characters have come across so strong it's like I've known them forever. I have to wonder if they'd been there all along and I just never noticed or if they are just that strong and dominate. I've abandoned writing everything else at the moment. The flow of this story is so strong, I'm thrilled to be along for the ride.
Whether the rest of the storyline will come along as neatly and strong as the start, I have no idea. I like to think I'm talented with creating stories that readers find interesting, but I'm so glad I got lucky with this story that ambushed me out of no where. I understand all about being lucky. I'd have to agree with that coach. I'll take the luck anytime.