When I first began writing Errand Runner, I was confident that it would be a good story. I chose not to do an outline or develop characters in advance and instead, I developed the story much the same as a sculptor begins a sculpture: with a raw mound of clay and a vision. I knew how I wanted the story to begin, where the protagonist’s travels would take him and even what some of his adventures would be. Yet, I wanted to let my imagination have freedom to create and develop the story during the process and not be limited by a blueprint. Having been a builder for more than 30 years, some of the best and more creative ideas occurred during the building process. For me, it’s the same with writing.
Along with confidence, I also had some fears – fears that some content might offend some readers, some organizations, and even perhaps some governments and government officials. Every great story has conflict (man vs. man, man vs. himself, man vs. nature, etc.), and without conflict stories are mundane. While writing Errand Runner, I realized that if I tried to write a book that mollified every reader, political party, culture and organization, it likely wouldn’t interest anyone. So, I shed my fears and replaced them with confidence by writing the type of captivating story that creative autonomy allows.
I believe that most writers have some fears; perhaps that readers won’t like the story, that readers may not find their stories to be believable, or that the writer produces something so politically correct and diplomatic that it bores the readers to death.
There’s a fine line between affronting and inciting thought-provoking concepts. By having a mix of fictional characters and real people and organizations in my book, I realized that it would be impossible not to ruffle a few feathers. Mixing good and evil will always create conflict, but without it, Errand Runner wouldn’t be the gripping tale that it is.