S.B. Lerner is guest posting today on Straight From Hel while I'm over on Alberta Ross' blog. Lerner is the author of In The Middle of Almost and Other Stories and A Suitable Husband. She's also included in the short story anthology, The Corner Café. She grew up in and around New York City and has worked in law, business and teaching. Her passion, though, is writing.
Please welcome S.B. Lerner.
Transformative Writing or Getting to the End
I began writing my own novel a few years ago, after years of writing and publishing short stories. The stories were like explorations of a feeling or a moment in time, but a novel is a more complicated, plot-driven best. It required research, editing, and thinking on a grander scale. And I discovered that the act of writing a novel was equally, if not more transformative than reading those written by others. All the clichéd comments in writers’ circles about getting so lost in the story that it seems to write itself, about characters taking over and refusing to do what you tell them to do, were true, at least they were for me.
This became most clear to me when I wrote the ending.
So I decided to write a more decisive ending and set out, fingers on keyboard, to bring my heroine to the decision I thought she should make. That was when it got strange. She didn't want to do it. As I typed, the plot moved forward in ways I hadn't anticipated, turning and twisting and ending up with her making the opposite decision. I was so perplexed that I forced myself to write it again with my ending, but when I read it over, I realized it was wooden and flat and not at all organic to my character.
So her ending won. Go figure.
Thank you, S.B.
Have your characters ever talked to you or taken control of telling their story? Did you listen to them?
(I hope you'll link over and say "hi" to me while I'm posting on Alberta Ross' blog. I'm talking about joining forces with other writers. See you there.)
3 weeks ago