Friday, November 18, 2011

Are we Scribblers or Gods of our Universe?

Are we just Scribblers (penning stories) or are we Gods of our Universe. As writers we get to play  God with our literary characters. We  become something akin to their Destiny Makers. We have the ability to bring them to throbbing life, or kill them with one stroke of a pen, or, with the click of a few  keys. We have the means of  ridding  them of their problems quickly, or tormenting  them for several chapters.

In the literary world we can do everything that we cannot do in our real world. Would we create problems in someone’s life like we do with relish in our protagonist’s life? God forbid. No. Never. Would we  ever be accused  of manipulating people in real life, in the way we manipulate all our characters? Again the answer would be no. But when we write we keep aside our guilt conscious, and trouble and torture our characters mercilessly. At times with glee. The more problems we add in their lives the  more believable the character becomes. A case of  the Written Life  emulating the Real  Life. 

As scribblers we give full rein to all our fantasies, create make believe worlds, people the world  with believable protagonists, add loathable antagonists, generously add conflicts of all kinds, and finally resolve it  to universal appeal.

As writers we have complete control of the destinies of each and every character we create, not just the main. We set the stage for the entry and exit of all the people who have initially resided in our imaginations. In real life more often than not we are helpless.

Have you noticed that the lack of influence we have over the people in our lives:  family; parents, spouse, siblings, children, and friends doesn’t trouble us during writing? Our characters unlike our family and friends cannot call us interfering busybodies or control freaks when we meddle with their lives. Writing is  the only time we are in complete control (provided the muse is co-operating, and distractions that deter us from writing are at bay, and we get uninterrupted writing time).

 In our literary worlds characters are created with impunity, they are shown the door unceremoniously, flying on the wings of   imagination our characters indulge in activities that we would never dare to do! Deep down most of our characters  reflect our secret desires and passions. Sometimes I think even the not so nice ones.

Our characters are puppets that we manipulate to put on a wonderful performance that will leave the readers asking for more.

 Are we writers closet control freaks? Is that one of the main appeals of writing for you? To be in complete control of every aspect of our character’s  life?  Or, do we love to create new worlds, new situations and new people? What aspect of writing appeals to you all the most? I  would love to know.

PS: This is one of my earliest posts. As I had no post planned for today, I kind of cheated by re-posting an older post.

Would like to alert you all to a fun Blog- Fest  hosted by Madeleine. Click Here to know more about it and join the Blog-Fest. This is one Blog- Fest in which you are allowed to use Cliches.


  1. Rachna, Since I had not read it before so I am not cheated..:)You summed it up so well that the characters are like puppets or creation of new worlds we so desire!

  2. Well said dear Rachna :)
    Personally I haven't looked at writing as a means of super-control. Rather, I consider myself merely a conduit to the worlds within in my characters live. I am the vessel of the novel, merely bringing to the paper that which my characters demand.
    But it does seem like fun though, the ultimate in control...
    Write on Ms CP! xx Tee

  3. You never cheat. We've all been there done that. Ha!

    I love having control of my characters destinies. And that is why we should never let beta readers change our stories. Only help make them better. (I had an experience with this.) She wanted to change the names and the entire premise. Yikes! Needless to say, I won't have her read for me again. *waving*

  4. Nothing wrong with reposting--all blogger's should do it more.

    I don't write fiction, but enjoy the creativity of the scribblers and Gods.

  5. @Rahul..sometimes I feel like a puppet, when my characters manipulate me and make me dance to their tunes :)

    @TGAyer..we writers are merely a conduit to the world within which all our characters live. At times we pull the strings and at other times we allow the characters to pull the strings.

    @Robyn...the worse thing someone can do to us is ask us to completely change our story premise.

    @Slamdunk...feel bad about reposting. Fiction is my favourite, though I do read non-fiction too.

  6. I completely agree with this sentence "Deep down most of our characters reflect our secret desires and passions"....Amazing article Rachna!!!. Well I didn't read this article before so I am not cheated :)

  7. If the character grows to where it starts to control you, then you have breathed life into them.

  8. You're not cheating!

    I think I'm a little of both. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's true!

  9. Interesting Post, Rachna. It reminds me of the book "Sophie's World". Have you heard of it? I sometimes think the characters I create have a life of their own. They become so real to me, I am just the story-teller.

  10. I might do that one day--post an earlier post. Many of my new blog followers haven't read my old stuff, and I do have favorite posts.

    I love being in control of my characters. I never saw myself as a goddess before, but I like that idea.

  11. I guess we're a bit of each. We can be scribblers, and just now and again we become Gods of our universe - the way we were when we were children.

  12. yes our writing we all live somewhere......and its secretly revels what we are feeling deep inside us...and sometime we dare to even God of universe...

  13. Great post. I am both; a Scribbler and a Goddess of my Universe.

  14. Well, I'm glad you reposted, because I didn't read the original, and this one had me laughing several times. Closet control freaks as motivation. Could be. Maybe, too, it's living vicariously: my characters certainly have more interesting problems than running out of print paper or needing to change the ink jet, and they are definitely doing more exciting things than staring at the computer screen. :-)

  15. Yes, the freedom to manipulate the world and the characters within, is one pleasure, no writer can deny. But, I believe a story emerges out of some inspiration, some motivation which comes from an experience that we've had so even though, the story is toyed by us but it isn't completely fantasy, it has a slice of reality hidden somewhere. For me, I like to write some real person's mind, attempt to read his/her thoughts. Interesting read.


  16. There was a time years ago when I was writing a novel, and the characters came to life - really had a life apart from my pen. I was doing some manipulation, but it was exciting to "feel" them taking over.

    Now in my later years, I write memoir - the "truth," whatever that means. I guess I'm playing "god" in a way as I choose what to include and what to leave out. Interesting problem. And very interesting post!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  17. Interesting brings up some scary ideas...are we writers bad people? Does the way we torture characters indicate a psychopathic streak? *mulls* I hope not, lol!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  18. Hi Friends..I am enjoying reading everyone's comments. I do enjoy controlling my characters and at other times being controlled by them.

    @Angela...we writers are not bad people or closet psychopaths who like to torture people albeit imaginary people. We are just people blessed with a wonderful imagination :)

  19. I'm glad you reposted. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I do think we are closet control freaks ;)

  20. Ha, I am a total control freak, and no closet's holding me back :) Very interesting point - I hadn't thought of that. It does make us feel powerful to create all of these stories.