Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Trumanizing Your Life...Your Story

I watched The Truman Show last night and it made me sad. This one man, Truman, had lived his whole life in a controlled environment. He was born on the show and was the star of the show. On a special set that included a whole town, Truman was the only person who didn't know they were on a TV show...a show that had been going for 30 years. The poor man lived a life that wasn't really real. His best friend was an actor who acted like his friend. His mother wasn't a real mother, but just a woman acting like a mother. Even his wife wasn't in love with him - she pretended to be in love.

And Truman wasn't content. And the audience was uncomfortable.

It got me to thinking how we are often like the creator of The Truman Show. We want to control everything in our lives. We want our children to be perfect and successful. We want our house to be spotless and "model-home-decorated". We think if we write a certain number of manuscripts, read great books on writing, or attend as many conferences as we can, we will finally get a publishing contract. We want to control the outcome of our lives.

I don't know about you, but isn't it hard...even impossible...to make our lives like we want them? There comes a point when we have to release control, let God be God and trust Him for the path He wants us on. We live life fully, trusting that God has our best just around the corner.

I think sometimes as writers, we are much like that creator of The Truman Show. We have a path lined out for our heroine and methodically write the words to take her down the path we have created. Sometimes though, we have to let our characters really live and go the way they want to go. Characters take on life when we let them breath and experience all that the pages have for them...whether good or bad.

Good fiction needs a compass, but a great story needs life and freedom. Freedom to fall hard. Freedom to live big. Freedom to love with abandon. So let your characters live free on the page and see what happens. Trust God for His timing in finding your story a home. The journey is just as important as the destination.

Are you letting your characters really come alive on the page? Do you allow them freedom? Or do you like to keep them on the straight and narrow?


Is your manuscript Trumanized? Find out at The Writer's Alley. Click to Tweet

Are you letting your characters living free on the page? Find out at The Writer's Alley. Click to Tweet

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born an


Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great post, Sherrinda! As I've been working on my WIP, the story has veered from where I originally thought it was going. I think it's going to be better than I originally envisioned. :) Letting the characters do their thing is such a trust walk, and I'm find, a lot of fun. :)

Hadn't thought about The Truman Show in ages. Thanks for mentioning it!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Thanks Jeanne! Isn't it interesting to have your characters go off on their own and having to trust the direction will be a good one? I don't know that I always like it, but it sure makes it interesting! :)