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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 2015, IWSG. Well Hello to You!



Better late than never.  Here is February's post for IWSG.  It's all about writers helping other writers, folks.  To find links to other monthly posts, click here.

I’ve been struggling on the writing front for a while now, but know I’m the only one who can get myself through this successfully.  To that end, I took off to the library on a recent Saturday, in order to introduce myself formally to one of the characters in my new project.

I’ve never been an outliner.  I write character sketches, and dutifully file them in a folder on my computer.  But for the most part, I think, and think, and think, until light dawns and my story unfolds as I type.  But, by last week, I was so stuck; I was willing to try anything. That day, I sat at a table in front of a Palladian window for four hours working my way through a list of questions about my main character, hand writing the answers as if that would help connect me to the story somehow.  In the end, I had a lot of information, and one terrific case of writer’s cramp.

Two days later, I sat down at the computer to work on my first draft and one of my secondary characters muscled out the person I’d spend that time in the library getting to know. This one suggested, no, demanded actually, that my story focus on her.

And now I’m writing.

Sometimes I think I am in charge of my stories. This was a reminder to me that I'm not.

21 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Ha! I've had something similar happen to me with my WiP - I thought it was going to have alternating POVs but one voice proved stronger than the other so.... :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Writing by hand is supposed to be so good for your brain but no one can control those demanding characters.

Sarah Foster said...

Haha--I don't think we're ever in charge of our stories. I have a similar writing process--I just think and think and think about the story until I'm finally able to get the words out. Outlining never works for me.

February IWSG Co-host

mshatch said...

Too funny. I've had more than one character tell me how things are going to play out rather than the other way around. Isn't it wonderful how alive our characters are? I sometimes imagine them living out their lives according to what we're writing, or standing in limbo when we're not.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well, now you have a secondary character that is fully fleshed - look at it that way!

Jenni Enzor said...

That's the best part of writing. I'm not an outliner, but I do have a vague idea of where I'm going before I start. But when I actually sit down and write, my characters usually have their own ideas. :)
Congrats on the breakthrough, even though it might feel daunting right now.

Cathrina Constantine said...

It's funny how our characters speak to us. Sorry one guy get hustled. Glad to hear your muse returned!! Keep it going!

Joanne said...

No matter what - it's a win win and you are writing. Congrats

Robin said...

Don't you love surprises? I do. You think the story is going to go one way and it turns out that the story has other things in mind. You think one character will do something and they say, "No," and promptly go another way.

Glad you're writing again. I hate being stuck.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've had that happen - one of my "secondary" characters arm-wrestled my MC for the spotlight for half of one of my books. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I'm never in charge of the first drafts of my stories, and I've had a secondary character steal the show on more than one occasion!

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, yeah, sometimes the characters have all the say ;)

Lexa Cain said...

As an outliner, I think it's true that pantsers aren't in control of their stories, but that doesn't mean they can't come up with wonderful and exciting characters and ideas! Do whatever you must to keep the words coming. :)

Julie Flanders said...

It's funny how characters have a way of reminding us who's in charge. :) Glad you're back to writing!

Daisy said...

Sometimes you try to show those characters who's the boss, and they turn around and show you. :) At least you're back on track again.

Cherie Reich said...

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get a story flowing. It sounds like it worked, even if it didn't go quite as you planned.

Robyn Campbell said...

Funny how that works, isn't it, Liza? You worked so hard on that character and that one wasn't the MC after all. BUT. You ARE writing. That's why you were stuck. You had picked the wrong MC. Bravo! Write on! :-)

JJ said...

Ernest Hemingway, my favorite author, solved the problem by time commitment. He allotted so much time each day to write, but he did so religiously. On some days, he wrote a sentence. On others, he wrote volumes. The key was to not get hung up on what was good or bad from his perspective. Just write and it works out.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well, all I can say is since you're writing again, your character must have been right!

authorcgcoppola.com said...

Listen to your characters - it's their story after all :)

debi o'neille said...

I never know what is going to happen when I start or story, nor do I know who's going to do it. :-)