What the hell? Why did the author do that?!

“You know, sometimes people say to me, ‘Why do you choose to write that creepy stuff?’ And I usually say, ‘What makes you think I have a choice?'”

— Stephen King

Thank you, Stephen King, for such a great quote.

I’m starting to get a similar sort of feedback already from readers. To avoid any spoilers so soon after the release of my novel, Change of Chaos, I’ll sum up some of the feedback this way:

Reader: “I really enjoyed the novel and totally expected it to end *******, but it didn’t! Why?”

Me: “Because at that point, I was no longer dictating the plot.”

Reader: Confused expression.

Yes, dear readers, there it is. Sometimes I am not in control of my own story.

Reader: “Then who is?”

The characters.

It sounds funny, but in a truly good piece of writing, the characters take on a life of themselves. Yes, you read about them on the pages in the scenes, but between the scenes that you see them in, in my mind, the’yre still going, still developing and deciding what it is they want to do.

So when I sit down to write, and think to myself, Okay, today Character #1, you’re going to do such and such, sometimes the characters go, No, I don’t think so, and do what they want instead.

And there it is. I become the conduit for characters that exist in my mind. Sometimes we agree on points in the story, and at times I realise that a character I have developed will NOT do what I first intended him or her to do, because it is not in their nature, is against their motivations or they are simply in-capable of doing said action.

So what do I do? I go with it, writing it down as the character would have it happen. And sometimes this results in marvellous outcomes, like a character doing something in Book 1 that then ends up having a significant impact in Book 3.

Sometimes their actions are shocking to me, and I sort of think, Really? You want to do that? Okkkaaaay… but I try to go with it, and that usually ends up creating a much more real and interesting story then I had first planned for.

Read my books—you’ll see what I mean 😊

JJ

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