Of Plots and Characters

Of Plots and Characters

Life is made up of good and bad things that happen to good and bad people. These situations are the plots in which these people become characters, and they all play a role.

Perhaps The Bard wasn’t wrong when he said:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

The roles and the situations are to some extent pre-decided by The Great Writer in the Sky. But I strongly believe that there are some parts which He doesn’t write.

Those are the parts which he cannot write.

I can totally relate to that agony in my role as a writer. Sometimes, even while the writer decides the plot and the role that the character will play in that plot, the character goes rogue and does something totally unexpected, throwing the entire plot in a mad frenzy.

Those are the days I want to tear my hair out. I growl about in a mad agony, wondering and angry – how could he / she do that? Why? Whatever for?

But then the anger soon simmers down and the calm breeze of rational thought flows through my mind.

typing the storyYes, I say. It is free will. And then I sit and watch as the character does his own thing and the words flow free and clear from my fingertips and onto the screen.

Yes, I feel. This is as it should be. Because this is exactly what this character would have done in this situation.

Sometimes, even as a writer, I don’t know who and what my character is. And these are the times when I come to know. I realize his / her true potential. I get to know his flaws and his strengths. I truly come to understand what his / her life is all about when I see it from his / her perspective.

And when I see it from their point of view, I can feel it strong enough to write about it with conviction. I don the mask for a brief time, and then I take it off. I step into the role for a while, and then step out. Like entering a room and exiting it.

Over the course of this time, I’ve started to believe that plotting each and every scene for my story is a pointless task. Because I fully expect my characters to throw it all into whack at some undefined point in the story.

I’ve become so very comfortable in letting go of the control. I don’t have to hold the reins so tight. I simply cannot.

flawless beautyFor me, it is a new feeling altogether.

But I’ve started to become comfortable with staying loose, and not having that kind of minute control.

And the story… Ah! The story! The whole thing leaves me breathless in the end. So flawless. So real. Even more than what I had hoped that it would become! Isn’t that funny?

Perhaps, this is why The Great Writer in the Sky gave us Free Will. But I’m inclined to think that perhaps we took it from him – being the wilful characters that we all are.

No, not pampered or spoilt, or in any way rude. But wilful. We thrive on being able to use our will to serve and swerve the plotlines that were laid down for us.

What fun!