Hello there, writerly friend~ ♥︎
I know where you are coming from. Right now, before the story even begins— I can feel this certain pull when I think about my characters. it’s a strange sense of certainty, like the light of a torch inside of a dark tunnel. I don’t know where i am going, but I trust that the characters will take me there… and they always do.
The thing is, I didn’t start like this.
Back when I first started writing, I used to roll my eyes at the writers who claimed that they had no control over the story.
"Of course you have control! You are the one writing the story, just change what they say," Young Max said, rolling his eyes so hard they nearly fell out of their sockets.
It took me a while to understand that, (first off) all writers are different, but also that there seemed to be this unspoken truth that most writers had no control. It took me a long while to understand that. I used to plot like crazy. I used to think that I was the movie director, telling the actors what to do and shouting ‘CUT!’ when they screwed up a line.
Over time, though, I realized that I was not the director… but merely the camera-man. I am not calling the shots, I just show up every day at the same time, and the actors follow up on the script given to them by someone I have never met. Sure, sometimes I get a feeling for where things are going— but at the end of the day I am just the guy with the camera.
Now, I know what you must be thinking:
"Great, Max is going to tell me that I have to write, and practice, and wait until I am good enough to be able to ‘feel’ that pull or whatever he talked about,” said the Strawman, throwing his arms in the air like he truly did not care.
Nope. Although I think time and practice played a great part in this— I can tell you that the most important factor in learning to trust my characters was to…
It’s time for my catchphrase, everybody, at the count of 1-2-3:
GET OUT OF THE WAY OF THE STORY.
Seriously. The most important lesson is to learn to step aside and let the story go. You are the person with the camera. Your job is to record what is going on. Nothing else. Nothing more. You want your characters to shine? You want your characters to grow before your eyes? Get out of the way of the story. I want you to picture a movie set where the camera-man started yelling at the actors:
I don’t know about you, but I would get a little fed up if my camera-man kept interrupting me in the middle of a scene.
Here’s what I want you to do, okay? I want you to keep writing. I want you to step aside and write. Go with the flow. Learn to trust your characters. You want them to behave like people? Then treat them like people. Simple as that c;
I hope this helps! If you, or any other writerly friends, have any questions, then make sure to send them my way.
Keep writing, writerly friend~ ♥︎