Yesterday was a word day. Loving words, hurtful words, truthful words. As writers, we understand how words can transform lives, make or break friendships, and change our perception of the world around us.
Words are powerful in every form, yes, but for some reason the written word tends to have more impact than the spoken one. There is something about seeing it on paper that sets it into stone and makes it fact. I don't know if it's because you can take them out again and again, re-read them until the paper grows thin and the writing fades or if it's because the written word has the option of never becoming a fading memory in a lifetime of memories.
Someone I value a great deal asked me to be honest yesterday. I labored over the decision; struggled with it, really, before answering. I already knew, before I put words to paper, how it would play out. I didn't have a choice.
I think a lot of us, as writers, face that on a daily basis. We don't have a choice. When we breathe life into our characters for the very first time, that is the only time we have total control. We may have a baseline of behavior for them, but the words that come out of their mouths belong to them, and only them.
For instance... in my current WIP, my main character actually thinks 'I could be dead. Or worse, married to....' Did I intend to write that? Did I think, starting out, Marian would actually believe death was the better fate? No. She chose it. I have become, somewhere in the 50k words, nothing more than a conduit for her emotions. Her words. Her story.