Who is the Real Villain?

I was reading a longread.blog by Jia Tolentino and this quote jumped out at me:

There’s a line in “The Rabbit Hole as Likely Explanation” by Ann Beattie: “You think you understand the problem you’re facing, only to find out there is another, totally unexpected problem.”

I’ve never read Ann Beattie’s books but her statement hit home. More than one writer has sworn that the characters take on their own lives. When this happened to me, it was startling, spooky in fact.

The villain in my play was clear cut; couldn’t have been anyone else. But even as I was writing the  last scene, the denouement when the story would be wound up, the villain just changed – from the nasty husband to the browbeaten wife. I didn’t do it, it just happened, and now I am stumped. Where do I go from here?

My play just sits there, and now and again I take it out and reread it.But the final scenes escape me while I try to rearrange my head around this rearrangement of the roles.

Maybe I’m waiting for them to roll back again.


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