Friday, March 13, 2009

Don't Try This at Home

“Writing with three-dimensional characters is kind of like herding ducks. You can guide them in a general direction, but they’re basically going to go wherever they want...Once you’ve created your characters, trust them. They will whisper in your ear and tell you what they need to do.” -- Tina Jens in Such Horrible People as published in On Writing Horror.
I laughed the first time I read the beginning of this quote. I chuckled just now when I pasted it into today's post. Perhaps this is another indicator of the difference between a professional and an amateur writer. The amateur author tells his or her story. The professional writer lets the characters' tell the story. What do you think?


terena said...

Very very true. And then the ducks will all grab top hats and try to learn to tap dance!

Jim Harrington said...

Tapping dancing ducks. Great image! :)