As I neared the end of The Bucket List (Part Two), I found myself stumbling over the conclusion. As a self-confessed Pantser, I plan very little in my tales other than the beginning, the end and a few essential events that must take place somewhere in the story.
This method has served me well so far, but over the past week, it’s given me a few headaches.
I’ve found myself, on two occasions, writing my characters into positions that have proved difficult to get out of. And if you know my stories, you’ll know that when I say positions, I am talking literally.
So I’ve had to engage reverse gear and ask the characters to back up and assume their previous positions, then move into new ones. There’s an awkward silence as they stare at me. I can hear them thinking ‘You put us into this situation. What are you playing at – changing your mind mid-flow?’
It’s just that, having written them into the story so far, I can’t quite bring myself to simply ‘delete’ what they’ve already done.
I feel like a mid-range director who is asking A-list actors to stop what they’re doing and go back two pages.
Am I too far into the character’s heads – am I giving them too much respect? Should I just be tough and wipe out their errors and rewrite their lives?
Has anyone else had to ‘rewind’ their characters and reposition them because it wasn’t working – or is that just me? 😀