Can an author be surprised by the outcome of his/her own story? You might think that any writer starts with a clear idea about the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story. It only needs to be written and decorated with the necessary level of detail to reveal character and environment.
However, no author is alone with the story. There are the protagonists, too, and they have a say in the plot. Sometimes they say: “No, wait, that’s outright stupid. I won’t act like that.” The current scene changes, its results may change, and ultimately, it may render the envisaged end unreachable. There are only so many twists an author can add to re-route the plot to the original end. Sometimes it works, and then I can smile at my actors and say, “Got you!”
But basically, once the story runs, my protagonists and I – and even my villains – are forced to go with the flow and must see where the course of events will take us. I, the author, can only nudge them here and there, and only if the initial setup was conclusive, I will arrive where I planned to go.
So far, I’ve been surprised a few times, but overall, the story evolved as it should have. I’m rather happy with it, and I hope, you are, too.