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A Puzzle

I know a lot of excellent writers who write the ending of the story/screenplay before they write the beginning so they know what the destination is. I definitely try to do it this way but sometimes find that I need to tweak my destination because the damn characters refuse to do what I want :)
And by that I mean that as I write a character over 90-120 pages, they become real to me, with things that they will or won't do. So sometimes I need to accommodate that because I am in many ways a character-driven writer.

But yes, I definitely DO often change the path in order to reach the desired goal.
I know what you mean, and Steven King talks incessantly about how his characters come to life during the writing process, and end up forging their own paths through the story based on the persona that's been established. You can simply repeat the process again after this though, and combine the benefits of multiple methodologies. You would just allow the characters to move dynamically within the story as you describe, and then do a rewrite after that. Everyone writes differently, personally, I enjoy laying the foreshadowing on a bit thick, and this method is especially helpful for that kind of thing. I've already been doing it here for some time, posting videos and quotes that seem random, but 10 years from now, when the series wraps, people can watch the finale, look back here, and be shocked by the fact that it's obvious in retrospect that I knew exactly how everything would end from day one. It's just a magic trick, designed to entertain the audience.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I spent multiple drafts trying to figure out how to better hide/obscure the guilty person in a murder mystery that's been a work in progress for more years than I care to admit :) I was absolutely set from day 1 that person X was the killer. The problem was that it was too obvious and I couldn't find a good way to have the reader/viewer look elsewhere.

Finally I realized that I was going about it all wrong. I needed to actually change who the killer was (there were ample options). Then leave person X as the "obvious" but now wrong choice.

I had to walk away from the script for months before I saw something as obvious as that.

Wait. What were we talking about?
 
Yup. Mr. Lynch is, for sure, nuts, lol. But, I think he is a national, a world, treasure--the only working popular surrealist artist I can think of. Mr. D.F Wallace wrote about moments, bits, he called Lynchian. What knocked him out was, I think, something about Frank Booth. But I always think of a scene, from Twin Peaks, where the lobby of the Great Northern is filled with men in women in dress uniform, Navy or something, and they are all bouncing rubber balls. Why? Wrong question, lol.

His "unified field" is something, I think, like Jung's collective unconsciousness. But who knows. At any rate, thanks for posting that vid. I hadn't seen it before, and . . . It makes me happy :)
 
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I spent multiple drafts trying to figure out how to better hide/obscure the guilty person in a murder mystery that's been a work in progress for more years than I care to admit :) I was absolutely set from day 1 that person X was the killer. The problem was that it was too obvious and I couldn't find a good way to have the reader/viewer look elsewhere.

Finally I realized that I was going about it all wrong. I needed to actually change who the killer was (there were ample options). Then leave person X as the "obvious" but now wrong choice.

I had to walk away from the script for months before I saw something as obvious as that.

Wait. What were we talking about?
"Wait. What were we talking about? " LOL (literally). I like it. A good epitaph on my tombstone (if I planned on having one).
 
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I know what you mean, and Steven King talks incessantly about how his characters come to life during the writing process, and end up forging their own paths through the story based on the persona that's been established. You can simply repeat the process again after this though, and combine the benefits of multiple methodologies. You would just allow the characters to move dynamically within the story as you describe, and then do a rewrite after that. Everyone writes differently, personally, I enjoy laying the foreshadowing on a bit thick, and this method is especially helpful for that kind of thing. I've already been doing it here for some time, posting videos and quotes that seem random, but 10 years from now, when the series wraps, people can watch the finale, look back here, and be shocked by the fact that it's obvious in retrospect that I knew exactly how everything would end from day one. It's just a magic trick, designed to entertain the audience.
I might be a different kind of writer, maybe a different kind of person (maybe, somehow . . . impaired, lol.) But my characters, at least in inception (and at least so far) seem to be . . . just words. They are a piece of a larger architecture. They do what they need to do to move the story, to illuminate some kind of larger theamyness, to be a necessary part of a joke, or to be a mouthpiece for me telling you all what the hell is wrong with you. :)

I like something Aaron Sorkin said about his Atticus Finch, in his stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, when he was accused of distorting Mr. Finch (even getting, I believe, a legal challenge from Harper Lee's estate): He's not real.

This might be an advantage, for me, of this genre: movies, TV, drama. Some of this character realization work, maybe, can be left to the actor. I would love to have, some day, some real actor perform something I had written.

Have you guys seen that Daniel Day Lewis? He seems to be pretty good.
 
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