Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Defined by our choices.

Each decision we’ve ever made in our lives has brought us to where we are in this exact moment.

Whether they were good ones, or bad ones – and what really would be the difference, being that we learn from all of them in different ways.  Or whether we have Really learned, or even want to.

In the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” the main character says - any little turning along the way she’d be different, she’d be elsewhere.

And so would we.

So if we desire to be different, to be elsewhere, we must make different choices.  Right now.

….we define ourselves by the stories we tell others…..So says a character in Megan McCafferty’s book charmed thirds.

And in her fourth comings book another character writes ‘….The tales we tell ourselves about ourselves make us who we are…”

So really we All are storytellers in our own ways.  Whether by profession or not, we all tell stories to others, and to ourselves.  They help us understand each other, and hopefully, ourselves.

And they help us to be better storytellers as we write.  Which is what a writer should really be doing, right?   Telling a story.  Hopefully really good stories, and learning as we live and grow to do that even better than when we started.

And contrary to some popular advice, I don’t think we have to write what we know or about ourselves at all.  My stories aren’t about me.  At all.  And whether some might believe we are all our characters and our stories, well, I don’t see me in mine at all.

My decisions I’ve made along the way, the choices I’ve made, the things I’ve experienced, give me an insight into myself and into others.  It helps me to understand others, a little anyway.  Or at least to get somewhat of their feelings, or what they might be feeling.  And the choices they might make.  The choices my characters make, while so totally different than what I would do or say or even think, are not so alien when touched by the experience and edges of my own.  I might not understand someone completely, even one of my own characters, but I at least have a touch into their inner life that tells me, whether I feel their choices are right or wrong, they are the choices they choose to make.  And as with me, brings them to where they are right now.

And while I need to work more on actually sitting down and getting my characters' stories down – in coherent form at least.  At least I’m learning each day how to tell their story better.  And how to make my turnings be where I want to be.

Where are your turnings, and choices, taking you?

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