The Weirdest Thing About Writing

When I picked Mom up yesterday to take her to her doctor’s, I was feeling uneasy and anxious. She knows how I am, so she asked, “Anything in particular, or just one of those days?”

I told her it was because my male lead in my work in progress had just made a really stupid decision.

She said, “Why did you let him do it? You better fix it.”

Well, I can’t fix it, because I made it happen on purpose, because I’m not a good enough writer to write a story in which everybody invariably makes the right decision and have it still be interesting. There may be a writer who’s that good, but that writer isn’t me. Isn’t I.

So that’s what’s weird. We deliberately invent people, and we invent things to have happen to them, and then we have emotional reactions to the things we pretend happen to our imaginary friends and enemies.

And here’s another weird thing, that’s sort of the same: Sometimes, in putting ourselves in the point of view of a character in a certain place in a certain circumstance performing a certain action, we see or experience something unplanned. Then, of course, we have to decide whether or not to keep it.

Yesterday, for instance, Del is in a room with the bombshell realtor and this happened:

“Beverly,” he said, “I don’t know how I can ever thank you. You’ve made my dreams come true overnight.”

She looked at him from under her lashes. “That’s my specialty: Making dreams come true overnight.”

He dropped the map. When he bent to pick it up, he took the opportunity to enjoy a view of shapely legs, delicate ankles, and my God, look at the size of those feet.

I sure didn’t expect that, but I think I’m going to keep it.

That kind of thing. That’s weird. But boy, oh, boy, is it fun.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Someone your main character thought was perfect has an unexpected flaw.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Weirdest Thing About Writing

  1. Jane

    November 21, 2013 at 10:51am

    You know, I used to have a patron come into the bar, look me up and down, and slyly say, “Niice shooes.”

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 29, 2013 at 9:49am

      I’m sure it happens to you, too. I love it when it does. Sometimes I have to make a note of it for another project and not put it where it popped up, but sometimes I slap my subconscious on the back and buy it a beer by way of thanks.

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