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Choose Your Own Ending

Did you ever read those "Choose Your Own Ending" adventure stories? As a kid, I went through a phase where I devoured them. Any that the library had, I read. One of my favorites was an Indiana Jones one, where the MC (me!) was a sidekick to Dr. Jones. I still remember this scene where we were caught in a shootout on some docks, and these were the choices:

1) You run in a straight line to the boat.

2) You run in a serpentine pattern to the boat.

3) You hide behind the nearest crate.

I was probably eight or nine, and I remember feeling so cool because I KNEW serpentine was the smart move, and I made my choice without hesitation. It didn't matter that in real life, I probably would have picked the hiding option (which, for the record, would have gotten me abducted, haha!).

I have found that writing is kind of like those Choose Your Own Ending books. There are so many choices you make as an author--choices your characters have to make. Some choices are big and some are small, and somehow at the end of it, you come out with--hopefully--a story others will love as much as you do. Sometimes you make a choice that you think is a good one, but it leads you into a corner your characters can't get out of, so you have to double back and make a different choice. It can be a frustrating process sometimes, but generally speaking, I love it. The possibilities are all there, so open, and it's a wonderful process to be a part of! It is part of what makes writing so addictive to me :)

Okay, and at the risk of getting too philosophical . . . I think our lives are actually like a "Choose Your Own Ending" story. We determine our destiny through the choices we make every day. Sometimes the choices are smaller, like deciding how we will respond to a situation. Sometimes the choices are bigger, like what we choose for a career, or where we live. We can double back from mistakes we might make, and we can pave a new path whenever we want.

Life isn't meant to pass us by. We should be active participants in our lives. Your life is your adventure, so live it! Run to your goal and chase your dream--don't hide behind a crate :)

Haha, that got deeper than expected. :)

As a lighter, final note, I want to give a shout out to Author Rebecca McKinnon for putting Choose Your Own Ending stories back on my mind with her super cool new podcast, "Pick The Plot"; this first season is a regency romance story, and the listeners get to vote on what direction the story goes at the end of each episode. Awesome, right?? Check it out:


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