“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
― Beatrix Potter
Oh, isn’t this the truth? Beginning a new story is intoxicating. It’s the start of a grand adventure. The wonder and awe shouldn’t stop there, though.
If you’re a quarter of the way through the thing and you feel it’s needing a little spice, you can do anything! Create a perplexing twist. Kill off one of the main characters or just maim them, or give them a life-threatening disease, put them in a coma, have them come up missing, turn them into a vampire (I could go on). And I’m not talking about one of the characters you don’t like. Sure, they might deserve it but it’ll be more heart-wrenching to kill off a beloved character. You can make the reader cry.
You can create change for more than just one of the main characters — also the supporting cast, or the town, realm/world — there’s a war ensuing, there’s been an explosion, a fire, a rabid beast or Bigfoot is on the loose, the portal to another dimension known as the Bermuda Triangle just moved it’s location INTO YOUR TOWN — I mean, really, the list of what could happen is endless — endless as your colorful and vivid and wonderful imagination.
You can bring someone or something new in. You can change the direction of a chapter or the entire story. What you started thinking is the story may end up something completely different.
Some plan it out, organize for structure, have all their ducks set in a row, crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s. Some fly by the seat of their pants and just go with the flow, making it up as they go. Some know the ending. Some have no idea what the end will bring or when it may come nor what may happen on the way there.
For you writers out there, I have two questions for you today:
What way do you write best — lead by plot, character-driven or narrative point of view?
When you start your story, do you already know how it will end or do you like to be surprised and find your way there?