What is destiny?

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Writing
Tags: ,

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan

I read this quote yesterday as I was thumbing through a book. It spoke very loudly to me. So loudly, in fact, that I am currently blogging while sitting on a toilet (cover on and fully clothed, sorry to disappoint any freaks out there).

Back to the idea of destiny. I have always taken the angle that one often creates their own luck and destiny. The kid who decides at the last second not to go on that joyride his friends died in. Some would say he was lucky. I think that he made a choice that led to his survival. In reading Mr. Bryan’s words I find that there is a lot of advice there for writers in two different places. Let me explain both in turn.

The writer who finds themselves wanting to publish, looking at all of the possible markets for their masterpiece (yet to be written or started for that matter), and wonders why no one has come running to their door. This writer spends a lot of time thinking about writing, but always has something that gets in the way. A game is on the television, the lawn needs mowing, that darn hangnail is acting up again. I could go on, but I think you get the point. What this writer can learn from William Jennings Bryan’s words is that no agent or publisher can publish what is not written. Games can be recorded, or even recapped on the marvelous internet. The lawn will not grow that much if you spend am hour today to get something written down and mow tomorrow. As for the hangnail- toughen up, you baby.

Now we have the other writer. She looks at her characters, especially the lead, and wonders why they don’t seem to be doing anything of importance. This other can take this bit of advice; the character is not going to do anything unless you give the choices. The more important the choice, the more important the action. I have heard mention, somewhere in the may books I have read, that you need to give your character the choice to open several doors in your writing. Once through these doors there is no going back. The first door starts the character down the plot line. One in the middle gives them the option to stop at that level, and going through that door should reveal something about the character. The final door leads to the climax. The ultimate decision. Does your character kill the antagonist? Confront the father angrily? Get with the love of their life against their beliefs? Do they do the opposite? It is these choices that will ultimately define your characters and put them on their own path of destiny.

Regardless of all I have said, all of us have choices to make.

Right now my butt is sore because this seat has no cushion. I am choosing to publish this post and go have fun with my children. Later tonight I go and give my lead a choice to make.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s