I often wonder if I'm writing the book or if the book is writing itself.
Out of the 23 books I've written and published so far, I can truly say that at least five I know offhand didn't end up the way I had intended them to end.
Frankenstina started off as an anti-bullying project with a girl suffering from gigantism making her school and community aware of its traumatic effects on the psyche.
Instead, it morphed into the Chain Saw Massacre with a female leading role...with a message.
Training a Titan was an updated version of Lassie but with real teeth. That's the way it started out through most of the story until the antagonist was introduced. Then the happy happy mood of the children's book transformed into a "this ain't your grandfather's lassie...he's a WOLF in sheep's clothing!
So when does the book take over? In the outline, during the middle, or in the last chapter of the book? The answer is YES to all three and then some. I didn’t believe it, but in one book I wrote, it waited for the last two paragraphs to make a turn. Yes, I couldn’t believe it either.
I thought if you had a detailed outline, the possibility of the book deviating from the plot was impossible. Wrong!! The course of the book is determined by the energy of the story itself. This energy is created when the pieces of the outline, or idea, connect and creates the (electrical) current.
But unlike an electric current, the story can change direction like the current of a river as the topography changes. Those changes occur when a new fork in the road appears and you decide to take an alternate route to reach the end.
Once I came to the realization that the story was in control and I was just a passenger, I decided to be content and let it do the driving.