What do these famous movie lines have in common?
Titanic: I’m king of the world
Dazed and Confused: Alright, alright, alright
The Shining: Here’s Johnny!
Jaws: You’re gonna need a bigger boat
Warriors: Warriors, come out and play!
A Few Good Men: You can’t handle the truth!
Goodfellas: I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown?
Casablanca: Here’s looking at you kid
Midnight Cowboy: I’m walkin here! I’m walkin here!
Taxi Driver: You talkin to me? You talkin to me?
Blade Runner: All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain…
Have you figured it out?
All of these lines were ad-libbed. Spur of the moment creations. Happy accidents.
How can you get more happy accidents in your stories? Well, there are several ways actually.
The main one is a tip from my other course: Superdraft.
Write faster. Outline your story, know where it’s going, then write scenes as FAST as you can. This can connect you to that creative unconscious, where happy accidents come from. Write fast, let it fly, and let your characters do “multiple takes.” Write several possible lines in a scene and choose later in editing.
Treat your draft as exactly that. A draft. Story is not birthed whole. It is crafted, shaped, carved in layers out of the rock of nothingness. For your first draft, don’t be precious about any of it. Just start chiseling away the marble and see what’s underneath. The freer you can be, the less perfectionistic you can be, the more AMAZING happy accidents you will be rewarded with.