What do you do when your story escapes from itself? You know what I mean…you are writing along…creating the perfect characters…it’s a love story…no…it’s a thriller with a love story and then, suddenly…out of nowhere…there’s a hippie in tights stepping out of a time machine, Twinkie in one hand and a light saber in the other….oh my Lord…it’s Darth Vader – The Stoner Years!
Okay…maybe it’s not that bad for you (and perhaps I should lay off the Bailey’s late at night) but sometimes our stories run away with themselves and get the book equivalent of a sex change…it started out as a romance but now it’s a thriller with a pinch of Sci Fi…..
Sometimes we can’t control our stories…sometimes they have a mind of their own and have to go down a different path. Here’s the thing…a lot of writers screw things up for themselves by fighting this very natural aspect of our craft. If you are writing your story right…you should be following it along not controlling it like a rabid mother-in-law. The story needs to tell itself and if it decides to go left instead of right….then for Pete’s Sake, let it go!
My very best stories are one’s in which the ending surprises even me. The new story I have out, “Project Stowaway” was just like that. By the time I got to the end of the story the person I thought was doing all the killing wasn’t. I must have sat in awe for an hour after finishing that story…but it was really cool.
So if you are writing along and your story heads a different direction, don’t force it back in line…follow it and see what it does. I think that if you do, you will be amazed.
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