Stories Don’t Write Themselves. Ever.
>I don’t think terms like “the story wrote itself” or “my characters write my novels” are either accurate or helpful.
It may be pretty–in theory–all whimsical and mysterious. But, **reality check**, stories don’t write themselves. Characters (I know this will come as a shock to some) are figments of a writer’s imagination, so, sorry, they don’t have the power to write novels.
It gives rise to the idea that creativity is a separate entity. That you, as the writer, have no control over said entity and are at its fickle whim. For any writer struggling with their work, these terms can be discouraging at best, crippling at worst.
Stories and characters may take on energy, but it’s your (the writer’s) energy, not the story’s, not the character’s.
So next time you hear someone breezing about how their story is writing itself or how their characters have taken over and they (the writer) are but mere transcription tools, remember:
1) The writer is having a good day, is in “the zone”, or is writing pure crap and they just don’t know it yet.
2) The writer is experiencing a rush of subconscious communication that he or she has been cultivating–whether known or unknown to the writer–for months, if not years.
3) Your creativity is part of YOU. It is cultivated by you, fed by you and ultimately controlled by you. So if you’re not feeling it on a particular day, or during a particular week or month, that doesn’t mean it’s gone.
I thought this article was a good illustration of how the writer took control of the seemingly “disconnected” ideas and related to them to how his own brain brought them to light — giving credit where credit is due: YOU, the writer!
You, too, will have these in-the-zone days. So when they come and words seem to be flying out of your mind and through your fingers out of nowhere, don’t give inanimate objects credit! You think hard. You plot hard. You write hard. Claim your victory!