Sunday, January 20, 2013

When Figments of Your Imagination Tell You What to Do

So the last 11 days have been dry for me in a writerly sense.  I have not been able to 'figure out' why one of my characters thrust themselves to the forefront.  He just pushed aside my pre-planned and pre-plotted story and made the announcement that he was the next chapter.  Why?  Because he is an integral part of the story.

So, yeah, this may sound decidedly odd that a character tells the writer what to do (you non-writers just don't understand), but trust me, this is normal. ;-)

What has to happen on the logistical writer end?  You have to figure out where the character fits in or else you have to start all over.  After over 70K words, I'm not starting over so I had to figure out where this character fit.  He was a throw-away character in my mind.  He was the one that was to be killed off much earlier in the book.  The very fact that he's still alive an the book's almost over is a problem and I was probably going to edit him out of the second-draft -- but NO!  He's made it clear he's a keeper.

I have an inkling of an idea of why he's a major part of the story but it's still sketchy.  I got down 291 words yesterday that pointed the direction to where the story goes next.  It actually is following what I wanted to do but now there will be an interesting twist!

I'm telling you, writing a novel is more exciting than watching a Speilberg movie!


  1. Love it. A minor character, Leslie Robb, who I introduced in the fifth novel of my series ended up taking a lot of room in the second half of the book, more room in the next and is the central character in the seventh installment. I completely understand what you mean.

  2. Thanks for sharing that! It makes me feel SO much better knowing that you too have had similar issues. Maybe this character, Chad, will become someone more important in the second book. Thanks again!