The writing process is a funny thing. I fall pretty solidly in the "plotter" category (versus "pantser" writing, or writing by the seat of your pants). But at least once in each book something weaves itself into a scene I never expected, and it's often some small personal reference that's been really important to me for a long, long time.
In the Entropy of Everything, we found out Jane knows the lyrics to the Parting Glass (and that Jane can sing--another bit of improvisation). Working on The Indestructibles spinoff book tonight, I unexpectedly found a way to reference one of my favorite poems. Tennyson's "Ulysses." "Come my friends / Tis not too late to seek a newer world."
That one line is a talisman for me. "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
(Ulysses, the mythological figure, is also an important character for me, because I like tricksters over standard issue heroes, and because he was a thinking man in a world full of warriors.)
Anyway. I'm entering the third act of the new book, and the characters are coming together for me in ways I didn't expect. This is the best part of writing, y'know. When it surprises you.
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.