How Does It End?

In reading an interview with my favorite Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, I became obsessed with one of his lines: When I start to write a story, I don’t know the conclusion at all and I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

He writes so he can find out what happens! How cool is it that the ending is a surprise to him as well?!?!?!?

Haruki Murakami

I love this picture and the article about him in the New York Times.

Everything that I’ve ever read about writing talks about having outlines and thorough planning before starting the story itself. While the logical, list-loving part of me wants this structured approach, I know what it is like to have blog posts get hijacked and end up going on wild, unexpected adventures. I can only imagine what would happen if I had characters moving around on the page. Much like with my failed sheep counting experience, I’m sure that they would refuse to follow my whims and act on their own.

Taking this whole idea to heart, I decided to try my hand at writing a brief scene – not knowing where it would end up. Everyone was so supportive the last time I tried some fiction. I figured I would tempt fate and do it again.

The Call

One ring. Two rings. The tightening of her chest deepened as her chance of going to voicemail crawled unbearably slowly along. Without realizing it, she was holding her breath.

“Please don’t pick up” was the loudly unspoken prayer to whichever deity was responsible for electronic devices.

“Hello?” Her heart sank. “I’m sorry I cannot come to the phone right now…” Rejoiceful singing serenated her mind. A realistic sounding message, normally the bane of her existence since they fool her every time, was today pure relief.

As she started to leave her well-rehearsed message, her phone beeped. They were calling her back.


After I wrote this, I desperately needed to know what the call is about, but I didn’t want to risk spoiling what I’d already written, so I stopped. I love it as a cliff hanger!

Are you a planner or a work it out as you go along type of person? or Does anyone else find it weird when you call someone yet secretly hope to get voicemail?

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