In honor of the 4th of July, (oh hey, that’s today!), I thought I’d talk about something that I get told a lot– “Since you write fiction, it must be nice to have the freedom to write whatever you want when you get stuck in a story.”
This statement, while technically true, isn’t. At least, not to me. And definitely not according to my characters.
What I mean is, I have written 3 books, 1 novella, several short stories, and a graphic novel. And in each of those, there is a moment where yes, I’ve gotten stuck. (Or sometimes SEVERAL moments. 🙂 ) But I can’t just write whatever I want to get out of that corner. I’ve talked with other writers and they seem to understand this, but when I speak with those who don’t write, they give me blank looks. “It’s YOUR story, Christa, so you can write whatever you want to happen to the characters!”
This is my attempt to explain when I say that it IS my story to write, but I can’t write it any other way then the story already IS. (Man, that sounds confusing even to me! 🙂 )
Here is an example that really happened to me that I hope will help. I was writing on one of my books and a character of mine, lets call them Sam, was knocked unconscious. When Sam awoke and joined with the rest of the characters, I found it difficult to write Sam into the scenes. Other characters would have conversations, but when Sam would join in, there was repetition, or a feeling like a 3rd wheel. I tried multiple ways to get Sam involved–other words, other rooms, other actions–but the writing always felt forced. No matter what I did, it didn’t seem to matter. Sam didn’t fit. And trust me, I TRIED!
Then it hit me. Same didn’t fit because Sam wasn’t supposed to be in the story anymore. So I went back to the point where the awkwardness started–when Sam woke up from being knocked unconscious–and I realized Sam wasn’t supposed to wake up. Sam didn’t fit in the story because Sam had been killed, not just knocked out.
It was hard for me to deal with. I really liked Sam. I didn’t want Sam to die. But after, the writing flowed, the conversations between the survivors made sense, and the awkwardness was gone.
So, yes, technically I have the freedom to write whatever I want, but I can’t make the story into anything besides what it’s supposed to be. I HOPE that helped explain a little bit and thanks to everyone who is interested about me and my writing. I love, as always, your thoughts, questions, and feedback!
PS- Coming soon! Announcement of the cover reveal for my second comic book, HOLLOW’S PRISM: “Aftermath,” and fun times with fundraising!