Please enjoy the following guest post from author Marie Catalfamo. Marie is a fiction writer with interests in mysteries and exploring the myths and lore of her Italian heritage. A native of the North East, Marie is a contributing author of First Thursdays, a collection of short stories by member of the writer’s group Somerset Ink.
Since my imagination is limited and you should only write what you know, I am working on a novel about my family, Time to Come Home. It starts with my grandparents coming from Italy, living through wars, the depression and family troubles. So I didn’t have to extend my mind too much – just follow their yellow brick road. I mean, after all I am the AUTHOR.
I started by naming my characters, making a time line (several decades to go through) and picking out the most interesting conflicts to include. The ending was set before I began. I knew how I wanted it to finish. All I had to do was fill in the middle, letting my pen do all the work. Simple? Right? After all I am the AUTHOR.
At first they followed my pen nicely, going where I led. As I’ve completed a little over a third of the story I realized my characters were revolting, going in different directions. They refuse to go where my mind wanted to take them. How could this be? After all, I am the AUTHOR.
I’ve submitted my chapters to several of my Somerset Ink writing group members. While they express interest and encouragement, they’ve chosen different characters to lead the story. Flattering, although not the direction I’m going toward. What to do? After all, I am the AUTHOR.
I finally decided that rather than trying to shave, chisel, or jam my round characters into square holes, I would just let them tell me where to go (in the story). It is amazing to see where they lead me in the telling of their life. It has become easier to “pick up the pen” to continue rather than face another day of trying to justify myself.
Have I been replaced? Has my creativity expanded? Have the inmates taken over? Yes, yes, and yes. But it’s okay. You see I made the decision to let them work hard while I just sit back and follow. After all I am the AUTHOR!
Who is writing your story?
I hope you enjoyed Marie’s contribution and find it fosters the flow of some fresh creativity. Please feel free to comment on what Marie had to share and ask her any questions you may have.
Look for future guest posts from Marie and more of my favorite writers here at Writer’s Block.