Who’s In Control


Who’s In Control

By Nandy Ekle


Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you.

You are struck with a brilliant idea. You have the characters set, the scene, the plot, everything planned. You sit down and begin writing the story exactly as you’ve seen it play out in your head. You have a specific goal in mind and specific steps to get there. Your characters are strong living beings. Everything is falling in place and you’re typing like a maniac.

Suddenly you realize the characters have taken the story away from you and the whole thing has changed. You started out with a fun little romp, but the words that come out of your fingers have taken on a foreshadowing ominous tone.

I have to confess every story I’ve ever written does this. Usually I’m pleasantly surprised and just go with it. But occasionally I’m puzzled. I’m known for writing twisted dark stories. But sometimes I want to write something fun.

Stephen King spoke about a time for decision making when he wrote The Shining. He said he had to decide if he wanted to write it as a fun scary ghost story, boom, boom, boom. Or he could dig deeper and write from the soul. He made the decision to go deep and analyze each character to the very core instead of just having a ghost jump out and scream boo. The result of his decision was a masterpiece.

So, the answer to my question? I will probably listen to the characters. After all, it is their story.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.