So one of my family’s favorite writers is J.R.R. Tolkien. Mom, Dad, my brother John, close friends who were like family, all read and liked to discuss Tolkien’s writings.
My brother was particular insightful and did a lot of research. He was full-fledged member of the Tolkien Society in High School. (I should have been but let other pursuits get in the way of that. Maybe more on that another day.)
Anyway, John thought it was interesting that Tolkien seemed to invent plot devices to get his story out of holes and corners he had written himself into.
Tom Bombadil, was one such invention, in which the seemingly impervious Bombadil saves the party from certain doom and then just walks out of the story. The ring of power appears to be another such device in The Hobbit. It appears to just be a magic ring that helps Bilbo and friends escape an impossible trap. And of course it became much more important later.
Now, lately, my son and I have been watching Netflix/BBC’s Worst Witch series. Wonderful really. We really enjoyed an episode in Season Two in which the main character and all her friends are frozen in blocks of ice and while there were threads of possible ways to rescue them, the writers of the show found a different way to do so. It was great because usually my son can figure out how they’re all going to get out of the latest fix, but not this time. So bravo and well done to the writers. That was exciting and what good writing should be.
I do find in my own writing that I sometimes fall into the trap of liking my characters too much and going a bit easy on them. But I’ll try harder to really torture the heck out of them in the future and maybe I’ll find a nice twist or a plot divide of my own to rescue everyone. But I guess that’s the fear, right? What if you don’t? What happens to your poor characters?
Anyway, just some thoughts for the day on writing.
Carry on my brothers and sisters.
2 thoughts on “I love when writers write themselves into corners”
I actually think that the solutions come AFTER you’re done writing the first draft. It doesn’t matter if it’s a novel or a short story, I’ve actually discovered better endings after having written the crappy ones down. So yeah, maybe writing yourself into a corner could be a blessing. Thanks for this post!
Thanks for reading and the comment. I think revision is important and can fix all manner of sins in the manuscript. For myself, I’m just trying to be more brave with placing my characters in impossible situations.
Comments are closed.