Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The fiction-writing ouija board strikes again

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - I am just 1,000 words or so into my next short story - titled 'The Last Supper Potluck' - and I am having a helluva time getting my characters to do what I want them to do.

I have had this problem before, in drafting my yet-to-be unpublished novels, but these people in this story really have an attitude.

Writing fiction has some similarities to columns and writing news, but really, in these stories I simply describe what I see going on. It's kind of like a movie in my head, I just write about the images.

I would like to say I am controlling this movie, but I don't think so.

I was headed in a nice orderly direction, about to introduce some scientific explanations when suddenly a huge earthquake wiped out half of Japan's nuclear power plants and volcanoes all over the world started erupting.

I did not order that up, thank you very much. But there it is on the page.

Then I realized, fiction writing - at least for me - is less structure and more ouija board. I'll try to remember that tomorrow when I start typing to find out what happened with the volcanoes.

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