Friday, June 27, 2008


Apparently my characters were tired of their lot in my story and decided to take matters into their own hands. I've been working on this novel for ages, but they’ve only recently begun to appear in my dreams and take on a life of their own.

After a discussion with Husband, and later my writing course instructor, I decided the novel needs a new storyline to strengthen the plot. For months I've wondered whether the secret at the heart of the novel contains enough tension to hold the plot together. In the back of my mind there has been a secondary storyline, which would add tension to the story, but I worried it might be too dramatic. I thought it would merely add more sadness for my characters.

When I sat down to write this week, I expected a long slog through more sad scenes, but what I didn’t expect was a secret passionate tryst. (Oh my!) These two have minds of their own, and they are certainly one-track. (I'm thinking I need to do some character reevaluation earlier in the chapter?) I felt naughty writing the scenes, as if I were a peeping tom, which is strange since I created them, but I guess once they take on a life of their own, they seem too real.

Do your characters ever surprise you?
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Lane said...

Sounds like this is going to be one hell of a book!

I wish my characters would surprise me. They need a bit of excitement at the moment!

Debs said...

I love it when this happens, it makes it so easy to write even it the story doesn't exactly go according to plan.

Sounds like your characters are having fun too.

Yvonne said...

Sounds really interesting Angie, can't wait to read it! My characters surprise me sometimes too, I'll plan a story and then they refuse to bend to it - it's like you create them and then they get a mind of their own!

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

When the characters start doing things you don't expect, that's when you know that they have come to life. Very nice!

As for writing sexual scenes, I know what you mean. I felt like I needed to hide the last one I wrote, and I'm the only one who has read it so far. Weird, huh?

Kristen said...

Oh, I can't wait to read the naughty bits! ;-)

Angie said...

Lane, oo la la, apparently it just needed a bit of action. ;)
I think they surprise you when you least expect it. Mine didn't until I'd finished the first draft. Someone quoted Stephen King as saying (paraphrasing here) that the first draft is for telling the story to yourself...I'm finding that true. Now, I suppose they're filling in the details for me.

Debs, it is fantastic! Let's hope it continues as I work through the next draft.
Oh yes, lots of fun. :)

Yvonne, I suppose that's when the story comes alive - when the characters are real enough to defy the author? haha.

Chad, exactly. I've heard writers talk about this, but it was my first full-blown experience.
Those scenes are tricky, especially for the shy writer! I'm hiding mine too for now. I suppose we hope they're not too revealing and the reader doesn't confuse the character with the author. I do think, in most cases, less is more though.

Kristen, ha, you said bits! (I am SO mature.) Thought you might be proud...

JJ said...

Fantastic Angie - that's wonderful news.

SueG said...

Do my characters ever surprise me? You bet. For example, one character in the book I'm now writing said a little off-hand comment which I now realize is going to completely change the major secondary plot of the book. I knew he was going to be a trouble maker.

Angie said...

Thanks, JJ.

Sue, I love your example. Amazing how the littlest comments can affect the rest of the story. The troublemakers can be a pain, but they're exciting, aren't they?

Jake Hull said...

The greatest thing about writing has been when a character surprises and makes me laugh or recoil or just feel a little shocked.

do your characters still surprise you?