Wednesday, April 11, 2007

When Characters Won't Behave

380-plus pages. I handwrote over 380 pages of the first draft of my new novel, went through a pack of paper, drained too many pens to count, and now my character decides to change her voice. On the last chapter, after everything has happened.

I didn’t think taking break would be such a big deal one chapter from the end. All I had left was to wrap up a few loose ends. I stood up. Got a drink of water. Walked around to work out some kinks. Then I sat down and started the last chapter, ready to be done with this long draft.

Two paragraphs later I realized my protagonist had taken over my story. Gone was “she did this and she did that.” Everything was now “I’m doing this and I will do that.” I tried to stop her and go back to the old style. No avail. My character tossed her head at my interference and charged ahead with the story she wanted written.

Okay, I knew my character had a rebellious streak soon after she walked into my mind. But mutiny?! Isn’t that going a little overboard?

But there was nothing I could do but going along for the ride. When my protagonist took over, the whole story came to life. She was fun and quirky with just a bit of attitude. She was going places—and she carried the story right along with her.

So what is an author to do when her characters won’t behave? I guess I swallow my pride and hold on tight.

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds,
Chawna Schroeder

1 comment:

chrisd said...

Hi! Wanted to say welcome to the blog tour.