Allow The Characters To Speak

16 Nov

I Want To Be A Writer Series

You must always remember that this story is not about you.  It is about your characters, so allow them to tell the story.

One of the most difficult hurdles you will come across in writing is learning how to remove yourself and allow your story to take its natural course. I cannot tell you how many completed books I have scrapped because I tried to force the story to take the direction I thought it should take. By doing that, I sucked the life right out of the characters. It was no longer their voices speaking, it was mine.

When you are writing a story, you are giving your readers a peek into a period of someone’s life. Life in general is based on one core concept, “Cause and Effect”. Just as in your personal life, you can plan all you want, but there is no way of knowing what the future has in store for you. There are simply too many outside elements that you face every day that impact your life and you have absolutely no control of them. Unless your character is God, then you will face the very same thing in your story. But that is a good thing. Unexpected twists and turns are what make stories compelling. Most of all, it is what makes your story believable.

This is why it is important to understand your characters on a very personal level. You have to know how they are going to react to the obstacles they face and you have to remain in character throughout the whole story. Do not be afraid to go with the flow of your story if it seems like it is taking you off track. You may find that there is an even more amazing story to be told that you did not anticipate.

Previous Post of the Series – “Write What You Know”

Next Post of the Series – “Slopping Through the Writing Slump”

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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in IWTBAW Series


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