And She Lived Happily Ever After?

I think about stories a lot. I'm always running through plot-lines in my head or in my writing journal or on a scrap of paper. Some ideas go nowhere, others swirl around in my head and seem more promising before they dry up with nowhere else to go, and a few twist and weave themselves into something promising.

I've had several people ask me about Gifted and how I could let it end like it did. This question is fascinating to me because if I'm being perfectly honest, I don't feel like I came up with the ending. It felt like the story was alive and it went where it wanted (and needed) to go. The day I wrote a certain scene toward the end, I suffered through the writing, wanting to do something different but feeling like I couldn't.

I've talked to some authors who totally understand what I'm saying. They write and let the story go where it goes.

But I've talked to other writers who I could tell thought I was a little crazy. They're often the writers who graph out their story on a storyboard or have an outline of the book from beginning to end before they actually start writing. I've even talked to a couple who came up with a great ending and then wrote a story to go with it. These methods don't work for me. So the quote above doesn't really work with my writing.

But I'd like it to work sometimes in my real life. Even though there are some areas over which I have very little control and life happens to me (like it does to all of us), I know there are plenty of areas that I can control. Sometimes our story is so firmly rooted in habits that to change the ending would require wrapping a chain around the trunk of our story and pulling it out with a truck, leaving us with a gaping hole that we have to fill with other possibilities. It sounds daunting, but if we really, truly want a different ending to our story than the one that's being written, maybe it will take drastic actions.

So when it comes to my life, maybe I shouldn't follow the approach I use in my writing. Instead of letting the story happen the way it wants to, I need decide how I want it to end and plot my way back so I know if I'm planted where I need to be planted or whether I need to do some different personal landscaping.

If I want to live happily ever after, I'd better make sure I'm in the right story.

3 comments:

John said...

Great thoughts.

Quiltgirl said...

Or just know that it isn't over yet. I'd love to read your book. I'm about to click on that link.

Lorinda (a friend of Tawnie's)

missy said...

Well said. :)