I sometimes wonder…

Dear reader,

It goes without saying that you enjoy the books you read. Why else would you read them? Perhaps I should exclude text books here, those don’t necessarily contain entertaining material, and I speak (or rather: write) from experience.

Something that dawned on me a while ago however is: maybe a writer enjoys writing a book even more than a reader reading a book. Don’t get me wrong, writing can be a frustrating experience when these pesky characters decide to do things their way, but for a writer (like me) who doesn’t plan every moment in a story before writing it, there are so many surprises hidden in a story.

The writer often takes the lead for the characters in the book (that is how it feels to me anyway). The writer opens a door – or leaves it closed. Do the characters go left (and what lies hidden there?) or do they go right (where the same question applies)? Does the antagonist maintain his or her evil demeanour or does he/she suddenly show a human trait? (Or a trait that’s at least considered gentle among their species?)

A lot of time spent writing a book can vanish into this kind of musing. Exploring all the possibilities where a story could go, and then boldly rush in to see what’s hiding inside the nooks and crannies of a building, a cave or in the mind of a character. Of course, going about a story this way may mean that a lot of time is spent on the ‘what-ifs’ coming from a specific situation, but as a writer you get to explore all of those, dismiss many of them and find the one that (hopefully) will suit the story best.

It’s a bit like exploring alternate time-lines, deciding, like a little god, where the story moves to, and finally making everything come together (or fall apart) in the best way.

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