March 18, 2015

Buy the Ticket...

Alternate title: When they don't behave...

I have run into this more and more lately. My characters refuse—flat-out fucking refuse—to do what I want them to. Generally, I allow the characters to run the show. I'm magnanimous like that. I invite them in—they do the work. But recently things have gotten out of hand.

For instance, I wrote a novella called The Spanking House. The piece was intended to be 15,000 words. I had the idea from start to finish. I knew all the tricks and turns. Until I didn't. Suddenly, new characters arrived unbidden. Doors opened to rooms I hadn't envisioned. Things I didn't expect happened. And the 15K just laughed at me:

Ha. You think you're done? You're not done. There are more words. Many many, more words.

So I'm back to the grind on that one. Hope to have a completed novel soon.

Last week, I was working on a story about two strangers connecting. I had the piece plotted. I knew who did what when. Until I didn't. The characters were supposed to go home together. I didn't realize that they'd be unable to wait. The urges were just too strong. I didn't see that they'd have to duck into that bathroom, to engage in a filthy quickie when they could have been caught at any minute.

This is, honestly, the story of my writing life. So I shouldn't be that surprised. What is slightly alarming is how often I am wrong about what I thought would happen. Not a little wrong. 180 degrees wrong.

But last night, as I berated myself for being unable to tame a character into doing what I wanted, I had this aha moment. I'm the conduit. That's all. If the work is going well, the characters exist where they exist, and they run the show. And I'm simply along for the ride.

I hope that you'll continue to take that ride with me.


1 comment:

Miz Angell said...

Always on board to ride with you hon!