The reader's own life "outside" the story, changes the story.
Now that I'm writing stories I can see the truth of this statement, but only because my stories are serialized. I can read from emails and comments how readers are variously affected by the tale as it unfolds. I can sense one person's reaction to a certain character as compared with someone else's reaction to the same character. I can read how people are taking sides on certain issues as they arise. In fact, I can even appreciate and incorporate suggestions as to how the story should progress. I'll bet any serial writer has experienced the same energy from his readers.
The title of my main journal is Vagabond Journeys. One reason is that I have always thought of life as a journey, at least my life is. Whether it was hitchhiking across the country, following trails up and down the mountains of the Northeast, going from one theatre to another, walking along the sidewalks of New York City as if I was treading on the ledges of the universe or even going from one room to another, it has always been a journey to me.
This is the way I write. I have a beginning and I have a destination. I know how the story is going to end. Getting from the beginning to the end is the journey. That's where the creative work is done. Characters are introduced along the way as they are needed, some stay, some don't. Some are mentioned before they appear. But in every case readers will let me know how important they think those characters are.
The long story I'm writing now, Brian and Christine, is not about a plane crash, a small town in Utah, a major motion picture, an orphanage or the terrors that are coming. It's about a very unlikely relationship between two people. The last character to appear in this story has already been mentioned. I always appreciate the comments I get because I want the readers to be involved with the lives of all the characters, and to go along with me on this journey, and perhaps even point out some sign posts along the way.
My thanks to you.