The Light at the End of the Tunnel

20130115-221039.jpg Image retrieved from WANA Commons and copyrighted by Slideshow Bruce

Every wonder what the light at the end of the tunnel looks like? I know I’m still waiting to find it in my writing career. The goal is to always be at the end. To see what I can do and where I can go in this industry. But when you look for the light at the end of the tunnel, you completely miss out on an experience. The Journey.

The journey through whatever goal you are trying to reach makes it all worth it. Without that journey, why would we set any goals in the first place. We would just always get everything we wanted.

Well I guess that doesn’t sound too bad now does it?

The journey is everything. If you think back to the tunnel in the picture above, the light calls you to the end of the tunnel. You know you want to get there because if you are like most people, you don’t like cold dark places. In the dark your mind can start to go crazy. Everything you fear pulls forward and every sound blasts in your ear like a siren. You look around, just sure that you are going to see that dark fear come at you. The one thing you don’t realize is that you’ve made your way through the tunnel and now you can see. The goal was all made worthwhile because of the journey you made in the tunnel.

As a fiction writer, sometimes it is easy to see where you want the story to go. To know what that overall goal for the characters is and how you want them to grow throughout the story. But how many times are you writing them on their journey and you find yourself having to change your outline or change your storyline. Characters live and grow on the page, they extend beyond our minds and make their own choices. These choices don’t always live in the outline made for the story. Originally you looked at the overall goal and didn’t take into account how things would change on the journey. The journey is what makes the story. Pushing your characters to the limits make for good writing.

So remember, don’t always look for the light at the end of the tunnel at the expense of the journey.

How do you write? Do you start with the end and write the journey? Do you pants it and write the story as it comes from your fingers? I’d love to hear what you do!

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8 thoughts on “The Light at the End of the Tunnel

    1. I actually mix it up a little bit. I start with the good intentions of plotting it out but quickly grow tired of the outlines. Plus as I move forward I find my characters doing unexpected things that make me have to rethink where the story is going anyway if I had it all planned out.

  1. Great post! There are days when that light at the end of the tunnel seems to be a train for some people. I like the more optimistic idea that it is sunlight, and I will get there.

    1. Haha, I have had those days where the light ends up being the train that is coming to smash my hopes and dreams.

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