Monday, October 26, 2015

Are You A Character Control Freak?

Why is it that when I go to bed my brain decides to pump out all kinds of ideas for writing? Is it just me or does this happen to you as well?

A few weeks ago, I'm drifting off to sleep. My mind is tossing around ideas for an upcoming Author Event at Horsham Library, in Horsham, PA. on November 12th. Out of the blue, I get this thought about being a control freak with my characters.

Sleep did not happen right away. I gave up and turned on the light, pulled out my trusty journal, and started writing. Now that I've told you how this blog post exploded onto the page, you probably want to know what on earth it means to be a control freak with your characters.

1.  Yours truly decides to write a sequel to The Moses Conspiracy. (At that point, I still didn't know it would become a trilogy.) I mull over my idea and assign the original cast starring roles.

2.  My head is aching, and I can't get it right. "Come on, you guys, do something interesting, so I can write it down."

3.  Ellie and John fold their arms and remain silent. I face them much like a gunslinger at the OK Corral. "You are the stars of this story, and I'm the Director." (God uses some strange methods to get my attention.)

4.  I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder and hear a whisper in my ear. "This is MY story." I shrug the thought away. "Be quiet. You'll have a part, but Ellie and John get top billing."

5.  Now, no one is cooperating. It's three against one. I cave in. "Okay, okay, I'll give it a try." Jim Kenneman, my shoulder tapper, grins, and soon my fingers are flying over the computer keyboard.

And that is how The Scent of Fear was born. When feisty Kendra Marshall showed up for the next book, I knew better than to argue with HER!

Writers:  Do you force your characters to fit into a story or do you allow them some measure of freedom? Please share how you keep things humming along.

Readers: Have you ever thought of writing a book? Please share. (I hope I haven't discouraged you from undertaking the project.)

Photo Credit:  David DiBiase


Susanne Dietze said...

I am a character control freak! But the best writing comes when they take the reins and my fingers fly.

Blessings with your project!

Karen Lange said...

It is interesting to see how characters come to be, and how we create and respond to them. Whatever you are, control freak with them or not, you've told their stories well!