March 3, 2014

Characters in the Driver's Seat: ROW80

Writing can be a very lonely experience. Combine that with moving every 2-3 years, and it becomes even lonelier. 

I wish I was a loner. It would make it so much easier. But I'm not. I like people. Actually, I'm quite fascinated by people--especially their choices. This drives my husband crazy, but I think it's what makes me love writing and reading characters so much. 

Excellent books are defined by outstanding characters. Granted, without excellent story, there would be nothing for them to do. However, a great story with boring characters goes nowhere fast.

When I write, the characters are in the driver's seat. I've tried to outline, but my characters don't work that way. Instead, I start thinking about one of them and then go with what they have to say. 

While writing Chasing Shadows, two peripheral characters screamed for more attention. Madeleine and Amelie will now have their own story in Chasing Forgiveness, Tala Prophecy #2.5. 

Madeleine and Amelie are sisters who fell in love with the same man. Unfortunately, he's a demon-werewolf hybrid and his only interest is to build his army. One sister makes the courageous decision to leave, but it comes with a devastating loss. The other becomes her lover's queen, but she has her own price to pay.

I didn't meet them until my main character, Reagan, had a run in with Madeleine. Then, Madeleine wanted me to meet her sister. And so on.

I've never had supporting characters hijack my mind like these two did, so I'm excited to get their story out there. Plus, they keep me company.

Don't you love it when characters do that?


Mondays are my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) check-ins. Well, technically it's supposed to be on Sunday, but my weekends get crazy. 

My goal is to have Chasing Forgiveness finished by the end of the month and out before I go to UTopYA in June. Hopefully by May. I plan to make some #ROW80 sprints (11am PST) this week to get my butt writing. 

Second round edits on Chasing Shadows will be in my hands any day now. I'm so excited to get this book out. Reagan is one of my favorite characters, and she grows so much in Chasing Shadows.

Oh, and please hop over to my Mom in Love with Fiction blog today. I'm featuring fellow-ROW80 buddy, Juliana Haygert, and her newest release, Playing Pretend.


Heather Topham Wood said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who writes that way! I'm awful at outlining and just let the characters take control. I can't wait for your sequel! Please give me a shout for any promo help you need when it gets closer to the release date =)

krystal jane said...

I do that too. I try to outline, but my characters always hijack the story so I usually end up just outlining as I go just to keep myself on track. I love it though. Chatty characters are the best. ^_^

I'm going to UTOPYA, too! I'm nervous, but I'm excited to see what it's like.

Fallon Brown said...

I'm an outliner, and my characters still tend to hijack the story. It's why I've come to the realization I can't write standalones. Whenever I try, the side characters butt in and insist on telling their stories too. I have to tell them to wait their turn. :)

stu said...

I know when I was writing my previous book, Court of Dreams, the moment that really made it special for me was when I took one of the minor characters and decided that he could have his own subplot full of small comedy scenes that nevertheless provided a different take on the central themes. It gave the book a whole extra dimension.

Jo Michaels said...

Resistance is futile...

You will be assimilated. :)

Yeah, okay, I just gave away my Star Trek junkie side. Your stories are very character driven. Let them have their fun :)


Eden "Kymele" Mabee said...

All my characters are hijackers... It's a fun ride most of the time (except when I realize I completely messed up some previous historical event in my story world and need to do some massive rewrites).

And I totally get you on the need to be around people and to (almost) analyze them. I don't necessarily need to hang out all the time, but I definitely love being around people... "cafe time" helps me. Maybe it would help you, Tia?