Saying No to Your Characters by Deborah Lytton

Writers love our characters.  We spend so much time writing our novels that the characters become like family to us, so of course we want what is best for them.  But sometimes, what is best for them is to tell them no.  People grow through adversity and our characters must do the same.  So that is why when things are moving along smoothly with my work-in-progress, I stop and consider how much more moving or interesting the story could become if I suddenly blocked my character's way. 

What would it have been like if Dorothy had just walked right down the yellow brick road and found the Wizard of Oz who sent her directly home?  Saying no is difficult to do because it forces us to find creative ways to bring the ending around the way we envision it.  But it is in that creative process that we can find our best work.  So take a look at your writing today and say no.  Make your characters fight for their happy endings.  I know they will find their way home in the end, just like Dorothy.


  1. I always struggle with this...thanks Deborah for the great reminder.


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