Monday, December 15, 2014

Quit Misbehaving!

Characters have a funny way of misbehaving.  Yesterday, I couldn't get over how much I currently HATE my protagonist in my work in progress.  Thanks to my characters, my book took a turn I didn't expect, and I've been trying to dig them out of a hole ever since.  (Not literally--they are figuratively in a dark space--all of them).  At the beginning of this book, I disliked the male character, but now he's my favorite.  He's the most decisive.  He's the one taking action, while Eliza: well, she's just sitting around sucking her thumb and complaining.

And then when I was writing yesterday, a secondary character went ahead and told a secret that I was going to leak out several chapters later.  REALLY!  They are like disobedient children.  So, after that happened, I decided I needed a rough outline of the rest of my novel.  I jotted down some basic scenes, and how I envision the ending.  I know this will probably change, because characters have a way of changing and developing on their own. Plus, I'm not a plotter--never have been.

In my books, the characters always lead, weaving it from a basic idea into a complete story. Sometimes this is aggravating, because as you write things can change.  When I set out to write my current work in progress (no title yet--still working on that), I expected it to be rather different.  Now, I have four characters who are all involved with each other, a pregnant wife, and an object that has the potential to destroy one of the characters' lives.  I feel like it's turned into a soap opera.  But, I'll do what I do every time I finish a novel.  I'll set it aside for six weeks, and then I'll see if it's total crap.  When I read through it, I'll cut, edit, and it may end up changing again.  At that point, I won't be so attached to my characters and it will be easier to make the necessary changes.

As a writer, one becomes almost part of the book. When I'm writing, the words flow through me onto the paper, but it's almost like I'm on another level.  Sometimes I can't believe I've written as much as I have, because I almost feel like I'm not there while I'm writing.  A writer seeks to give her characters life, breath, to break them down, and then to build them back up again (unless she plans on killing them off).  And a good writer knows when to follow her characters' leads.

So I bet when you started reading this blog, you thought it would be about my three darling children. They never misbehave! HA! If you believe that, then I really am a good writer.

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  1. I often feel like "who is writing this...?"

  2. Me too, Anna. Sometimes I want to tell at the characters, "I'm in charge," but he reality is, I'm not!


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