So This Is How It Ends? No, Probably Not

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“So this is how it ends” I mumbled to myself.

Admittedly, I was caught off guard, because I knew what the ending was going to be. Or what it should be. Or what I was going to make it be. Or what I wanted it to be. And dammit, I’m the one writing this stuff.

But it’s not going to end that way at all, and I’m just going to have to live with it. You see, the good guys (or gals), aren’t so good. And the bad guys (again, and gals), may not be that bad after all. Because as the story unfolds, I find out more about them. Things that I didn’t know when I started writing this tale. Things they’ve been through, things they’ve been led to believe, and things they’ve just flat-out been lied to about will all change my, and hopefully your opinion of them as the story unfolds.

It’s great to have an outline, if you’re one of those writers, or even a broad view of where you want your characters to end up, on the good side of the fence or the wrong side of the tracks. I generally know my beginning, a bunch of middle stuff that I’ll put in order and decipher later, and an ending with the outcome of my choice. I’ve found that this type of thinking is more of a general vision than a true plot or rigorous outline.

So I keep in mind, as you should, that a vision, no matter what it pertains to, is just that, a vision. Let your characters dictate the story as they see it, according to their experiences, beliefs and views, and you’ll end up with an ending that’s believable, no matter the twists and turns you’ve put the reader through to get there.

And right now, I’ve envisioned this post ending exactly this way, so I’ll leave before something changes.

Good writing!

Excuse Me, Do I Even Know You?

I’m saying that to my fictional characters these days. You see, I had it all planned out, how they talked, acted and interacted with one another, down to thoughts, beliefs, and expressions. But now here they are, darn near every one of ’em, going off on their own little tangents and disrupting my story. The characters that I thought were decent, good people, aren’t that way anymore. The antagonist is just a victim of circumstance, the poor guy.

Who knew?

I thought I did, but as someone who is considered a “pantser” more than a “plotter”, the characters in my story just showed me who is in control. That’s why I spontaneously  pushed my chair back from the desk, looked at the words on the page and said, rather loudly I think, “Excuse me, do I even know you?”

And then there’s a vision of all the characters turning, in unison, and looking towards me, smiling, saying, “No, but you will”.

That’s when I finally realized what published authors are talking about when they say that their characters take on a life of their own within a story. The writer is merely there to record the events, as true as they can be within a fictional setting. Quite crazy, isn’t it?

I’m just happy to be a part of it.