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Writer, on writing February 14, 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in writer on writing, writing-mom.

As the mother of a seven-year-old debate captain, complaint department and future lawyer, it occasionally becomes tempting to use the time-honored, albeit arbitrary, way to win an argument:

“Because I’m the Mom and I said so!”

Likewise, as a writer, your fictional characters fight back (and I challenge any writer out there to tell me that their characters don’t talk back to them in a way that would put a teenage Loki to shame). When this happens, it’s very tempting to point at your outline and say “Because I’m the Writer and I said so!” If you’re an organic writer, you leave out the pointing to the outline part. But you still insist “I’m the Writer and I said so!”

Very tempting, but I’ve noticed that I’ve never really finished something where I overruled what my characters were telling me. And if I did finish it, it wasn’t very good. On the other hand, when I listened to my characters and made the changes, the story was better.

Because sometimes, the fictional characters, and the seven-year-old debate captain, are right.


1. RSAGARCIA - February 17, 2014

Amen to that!

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