I have just thrown my hero’s lover off the cliff.
It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
But I know that I need her to find the gun that killed her father back in chapter one and without her, my hero won’t be able to do the hero thing.
Panicked? Frustrated? Self-doubting about my skill as a storyteller?
Hell, no. This is what writing is all about. At least the way I write. This is where the creativity rubber hits the road. The story demanded that I throw the fair Gwendolyn off the cliff. It’s like life. Perhaps surprising but always honest. And like life, you need to be creative to survive.
After discovering fire and learning to survive all the craziness around them, our ancestors took the time to pass on their experience as they sat around the communal fire. No idle chit-chat but hard lessons. “Do this or you die. Do this and you will die. Do this the way I do it, like your grandfather did it, like our great-great grandmother did it…or you die.
I’m sure those teachers around the fire learned their own lessons. Some of the listeners just didn’t follow instructions well. Some needed a little background. “Your cousin Ogg screwed up last week because he forgot to do this. He dead. You want to be dead? Be like Ogg.”
Poor Ogg. He was the object lesson of every good survivor clan. But it was Ogg’s story that saved the family. Simple cautionary tales, around a fire while surrounded by hungry predators and cold winds.
I like to write and if I get in trouble with the story, it’s even better because I can use my survival instincts to work my way out. I get to be creative. I get to be part of the human chain of storytelling.
And that’s a very good thing to do.