HAPPY WRITING WEDNESDAY! (Clearly, I’m excited about it this week.) I have a few things to share. Characters taking over. Querying. Organization. Research.
Characters taking over
In writing, sometimes characters have a mind of their own. Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back.
Some people are planners, outlining every little single moment in their book, which is cool. I commend those people. In reality, I am the kind of person who likes to be two steps ahead. But in writing, I can’t really do that. I have a general outline of the bigger picture, but I have no idea what will happen in my next few chapters. I might be able to tell you what will happen in the upcoming chapter, if that.
My characters act, and events unfold. It’s like observing other people and then recording it. UNFORTUNATELY, sometimes my characters go places that my brain hasn’t been to yet (in places, plot, etc.). This has happened to me before, where a character takes the reins and leads the way. Usually I’m all in for adventuring with my characters into new territory. BUT other times, it screws me, the writer, over. MY CHARACTERS ARE OUT OF CONTROL.
I can compare my situation to walking a dog. The dog walker has the leash, they control the dog, even though the dog might walk ahead of them. In my case, the dog has decided to run, and I’m holding onto the leash for dear life as he’s dragging me across the ground. (This has actually happened to me FYI!)
I have a character. His name is Ryder. Ryder decides he’s going to sneakily lead me astray. I’m innocently following him along and, all of a sudden, BAM! He screws me over. As I mentioned last week, my book borders on magical realism/fantasy. So Ryder says, “Hey, let’s share the history of this magical stuff! Isn’t that a great idea?!” (His exact words were, “We’ll start with the legends.”) That is a fantastic idea…except I have no idea what the heck these legends are! Which means I am now stuck in a rut, trying to figure this out. (I should really have thought of this before starting my story, but, as I said, I am no planner.)
If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my last couple of Tweets had something to do with querying.
Let’s review them, shall we?
— Shari L. (@butterflygrl126) July 18, 2016
Getting responses from agent querying like
— Shari L. (@butterflygrl126) July 19, 2016
I’m putting myself out there, and I just got my 6th rejection today! (That exclamation point is for excitement, not anger, just in case clarification is needed.) It’s sad, but I’ve known that I need to expect it, so I’m not crushed. It’s like dark chocolate: bitter sweet. I’m still hoping. 🙂
I even started writing my query for this next book, because I know I’ll get bogged down by the details later on.
12K words into my new book, and I’ve decided to create some character profiles (and some other little shortcuts for myself). EXCEL IS WONDERFUL. I’ve listed out some major characters and traits that might get lost as I get deeper into the story, like eye color. This actually gets annoying in consistency if I decide to change something later on, as I’ve learned with my finished MS.
It’s also fun. The “hobbies” column, for instance, gets me really thinking about my characters. What would they actually do in their free time? These characters are like my friends, so I better be the best BFF ever and really know how these characters tick.
Last, but not least, I’m super excited about going to do research for an upcoming chapter. My characters are taking a field trip to the Spanish Monastery! Which means I’m taking a field trip! Technically, they were supposed to go a few chapters ago, but they had other things in mind. (I’m not going alone, so it depends on my friend’s schedule, but hopefully it happens before the next Writing Wednesday.) I’ll be taking pictures to share!
Well, that was a mouthful for this week. I hope everyone else’s week has been wonderful and that you are experiencing wonderful writing (whether your own or someone else’s)!