I’m sure that many of you are like me when you write a story. You have a general idea of a plot that you’d like to follow, and I’m the same way. I have a graph in a notebook of the rising and falling action of each character as the plot progresses. It’s color coded, just to give you a picture of how much I micromanage my work.
Anyhow, I was writing yesterday and I kind of zoned out while I was working. I was still following the general outline of my plot, but I was letting the character react how he naturally would without me dictating everything. Suddenly, I was in a place that I hadn’t planned on. I have put my character in a dire situation and then took away his last shred of hope.
The thing I took away was the last thing holding his world together, and suddenly it was gone and I was left dealing with the aftermath of a character who had nothing left.
I felt terrible. I cried a little when I realized what had happened, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to change it. We all have our favorite t.v. or book character that has gone through the ringer, and we say the writers should treat them better, but I’m here to tell you that making your characters suffer is what makes the story great.
Even if the book is well written the chances of people wanting to read a boring story are next to nothing. Sometimes all it takes to get there is letting go a little.
I have a hard time not being a control freak, but I learned quite a bit earlier this week, and I think my manuscript is better for it.