Hi, all...I have a question for all authors out there, sparked by one of the questions for this section ("Characters getting uppity?"). Do you feel like you're driving the story as you write it (that is, setting up situations for the characters and directing them to do what the plot calls for), or are you simply chronicling your character's adventures?
The reason I ask is that my experience has changed over the years. I remember when I was a young writer that I decided exactly how the plot of the story would go, and I made my characters do what I thought the story called for, whether or not they seemed to like it. The problem with this approach seemed to be that my stories wouldn't always work out...despite my carefully crafted plots and things I was determined to have happen at various times and places, it sometimes seemed that I'd written myself into a corner; my ideas seemed to dry up and I couldn't get more as to what the characters should do next. That didn't always happen, though, so I kept soldiering on in that fashion.
I spent some years away from writing, for several reasons, and I find that now that I've picked it up as a bit of an older person that my experience is radically different. I feel a lot more like I'm just reporting, like William Burroughs puts it in Naked Lunch. I feel like I'm 'tuning in' to my characters, and I find I'll run through the next scenarios in my story several times in my mind as the day goes by, watching what the characters do, and then when I sit down to write later, that's what I put down, unless 'they' come up with any better ideas as I write. Has anyone else out there had this experience?