Sunday, October 23, 2016
Letter to the Author
Excuse me, Author. Yes, you with the keyboard.
I know what they tell you in those writer’s conferences: “Create the best possible characters and then do the worst possible things to them.” Is that what is going on here? I’m just wondering. Because half of that statement is flattering and half of it is terrifying, just saying.
I’m also curious, is my story plot driven or character driven? Is this about the events happening around me or is this about me and how I will change and grow through the course of my story? ‘Cause an awful lot of things have happened in my story so far, but I’ve also changed a lot- so I wasn’t exactly sure.
Anyway, I wonder if it would be possible to make a couple of special requests.
As you are so amazingly creative, I’m sure you could find another plot device other than depression to make my character relatable. I mean, I see what you are doing there, and I know lots of your readers can relate to depression, but, maybe you could find something else? Not another disease though. I’m sure you can think of something.
Also, I’m a little concerned because I know that things going normally and smoothly will generally make for boring reading, but I’ll bet you could write so well as to make an exception to that rule. I’d like this trend to last for more than one chapter. I seriously don’t want the plot to get any more conflicted or exciting now that you’ve resolved some of the previous conflicts you introduced earlier on. You could start a new trend in literature. You know, like the way people watch those webcams in eagle’s nests where nothing goes on for hours and days and then finally a baby eagle pecks its way out and the parent feeds it and in the next few weeks it gradually and predictably grows up and flies away and everyone is enthralled. The rest of my story could be like that.
Seriously, you really should consider not introducing more conflict or this story won’t be believable. Your readers will get skeptical. They will start saying, no way, this much crap could never happen to one person- this is totally unrealistic. And you wouldn’t want that.
I’ll tell you what I would like. Just a suggestion, mind you, but this could be the point in the story where my character gets out of denial, looks down at how much weight she is gaining, admits that those pounds are starting to make her physically uncomfortable, and gets off the couch and does something about it before it is too late. She could even get real intense about it and start working out, juicing, yoga, the works, and reinvent herself into some kind of middle-aged super diva, like Barbara Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces.
Also, you could pull some kind of positive surprise twist where the small business she buys suddenly takes off and makes a boat load of money, more than she ever expected, and she has money to invest. That could open up all kinds of possibilities for the rest of the book.
(I’m not trying to do your job here, just give you some ideas in case you were having writer’s block or something.)
Am also making an important request not to make my character’s kids do anything dramatic or crazy to move the plot along. You can give them their own book if you want to do that kind of thing, but in this story they should be pleasing two-dimensional support characters who do not get into any trouble whatsoever, if you please.
Okay, thank you for taking the time to listen to me and to consider my requests. I mean, I know you are in my head with my thoughts and my POV all the time, but I just wanted it to be more direct for a change. Hope you don’t think I’m out of line here, you know, like a pot asking the potter why he made it a certain way. I just felt that we were close enough to risk it. I may be wrong, but I kind of get the idea you like me, so I thought I would take a chance to tell you how I was feeling.
But of course, you already knew, didn’t you?
Of course you did.
Because I’m your character. You dreamed me up, and wrote me from your imagination. You selected my strengths and chose my flaws. There is not a word in my mouth that you did not write, nor a thought in my head that did not flow from your character sketch of me. My life is your story board, and you know my beginning and my end. You fully control my plot line and each minute detail from the opening sentence to the closing chapter. Before you began my story you decided the theme and the setting, and drew my outline. You planned the trajectory of my internal and external conflict and how that would develop my character. You know exactly how many words my book contains and how it will finish.
So, I know you actually took this request of mine into consideration before I made it, and I can trust you with my story.
Come to think of it, You can just keep writing.