At the End of the Day

It seems the conclusion of a day often lands far from its beginning.  Ask any writer.  As in every good story, a writer’s characters are changed by outside influences, by following their hearts, by participating in life.  So it goes with every writer.

We change.

Every episode or scene we write pulls at our elbows until we agree to follow it to its reckoning.  By the end, someone is different.  Someone loses.  Someone wins.  There is a turn of heart, or a dampening of feelings.  We learn to love.  We find revenge.  We are burst open like spring buds of hope, or crushed under the weight of circumstance.  But always … ALWAYS … there is change.

I’ve generally considered myself my own first reader.   Unless I’m working on a nonfiction nuts-and-bolts piece that requires specific structural guidance from point A to point B, I’m usually that la-de-dah, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer.  I like it that way because I’m excited to know what will happen next.  It drives my husband crazy that I don’t outline my fiction ahead, but I’ve found it a troublesome waste.  No matter how immaculate an outline I manage to produce, it seems each character suits up in the morning and gives me THEIR agenda.   It NEVER seems to work the other way around.  It’s like I take dictation … then do my best to turn the words into something I’d like to read.  It seems to work well that way for me and my dear little writer’s right brain, as well as, for producing all those little moments of change my characters crave.

If now I could only convince that beautiful rightward brain of mine to pop out a perfect 5-page synopsis by tomorrow’s deadline.

Unfortunately, all my characters are on summer holiday and I’m left to swelter over every writer’s agonizing question when we’re at the end of the day — WHO ARE MY CHARACTERS AND HOW DID THEY … CHANGE?

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