I’ve often wondered if we writers really control what we create. Often, I start to write, thinking I’m clearly going in a certain direction, or have a certain character in mind, yet when I am done, it’s nothing like what I thought I was prepared to do. It’s as if the story or the characters themselves determine their own destiny.
I don’t really understand why that happens, it just does. I am not a student of neuroscience, metaphysics or of spirituality, and I don’t have any certain religious beliefs that might explain it. Some writers may think they are merely channeling from the world about them, giving random thoughts and ideas a place to reside in the physical world. Or is it simply an unconscious process that happens as we are writing?
What I love most about it — whether it is a mysterious process or a spiritual connection — is that it surprises me. How wonderful is that? It’s always a goal to keep readers guessing, but to feel that same wonder of surprise as the writer is somehow special. And certainly never boring, even for the creator. It makes me look forward to what happens next, when I should be the one who knows!
Good storytelling makes a reader feel the writing, the different areas of their brain create reactions as if they are physically sensing events they are only reading about. As a reader, you feel a character’s pain, hear their anger, see something from their eyes.
When writing, authors kick our brains into action as well, both sides contributing, whether it is the creative right side or the logical left. Perhaps, when all neurons are firing well, we become less conscious of what we are thinking and are merely along for the ride. That’s when the magic happens and the story begins to write itself.
I love being a storyteller … and I love the mystery of it. Perhaps one day neuroscientists will have a better explanation for what happens, but for now I’m content to not know and let my characters do their own thing. I’m merely the scribe; it’s their story. If you happen to love the results, thank them.