Quotes / I Just Write the Thing

I never write stories with the ending in mind, because I want the story to develop a life of its own, and I want the resolution of the dilemma to surprise me. Sometimes I really get myself stuck this way. This story spun completely out of control and surprised me throughout, so it's one of my favorites.
Bill Watterson, describing the storyline in which Calvin duplicates himself, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

I do not hold myself responsible for any of the opinions expressed by the characters in my book.
Lewis Carroll, in the preface to Sylvie and Bruno.

Nostalgia Critic: You're the author! Tell me what to do!
Doug Walker: You're the character! Tell me what to write!

That's how writing works the vast majority of the time. You give these characters life and then they tell you what they want to do.
Bryan Konietzko on the finale of The Legend of Korra

I have never demanded of a set of characters that they do things my way. On the contrary, I want them to do things their way. In some instances, the outcome is what I visualized. In most, however, it’s something I never expected.

Don't blame me. I'm but a lowly instrument to the muses.

At this point, ten years in, these characters sort of "bounce" off one another according to some dimly recognized set of mystic laws. Writing the strip has always felt more like something we're observing, some natural process, than anything we're doing ourselves. That's what I tell myself when I see a strip like this, and try desperately to imagine what might have informed it.
—-Tycho Brahe/Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade vol. 6: The Halls Below

I think one of the most wild things as a writer is the sensation that you’re not actually directing your characters– they’re sort of directing themselves, and you’re scrambling around attempting to copy down whatever it was that they just did, but they don’t wait for you to finish copying. They just keep walking and talking and moving around and existing of their own volition and at some point you look up and you’re like “WHOA OKAY EVERYBODY BACK THE FUCK UP WHERE ARE WE”
It’s kind of like trying to write sheet music for an orchestra while it’s playing
—>— Tumblr post