Decisions, Decisions…

So I am only around 30 pages into my next book.  I have a story arc, and I have my characters, and I have my synopsis and my core scenes.  So I have a general sense of where I want the road to end, and a few of the landmarks that I have to see along the journey.

But…and here’s the thing…there are, based on a recent scientific study, a gazillion choices to make almost every time I write a sentence.  Some of them are tiny and easy to change:a younger sister’s name, or the color of the teacher’s eyes.  Others are bigger but still manageable to re-imagine, like whether her best friend is with her during a pivotal scene.  But some are life-changing for the characters and the story. A hundred times a day, when I write, I play God and make these decisions.

Me...playing God with my characters

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment when my fingers are flying over the keys and the book seems likely to take its place in the pantheon of literary classics, I don’t even think about these choices, I just write.   But often I hesitate, trying to think about the repercussions of the action, trying to see if it is exactly what Meredith would do, and if it is needed to move the narrative forward, or if it will box the story in at a later date.  I try and figure these things out, then I keep writing. But there’s sometimes this wriggling feeling in my mind that I might have made a reckless decision.  Perhaps every all-powerful God feels that way sometimes…

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