Erin Lausten

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When Characters Attack

Posted by erinlausten on July 3, 2013

I may have mentioned this previously, but I honestly have no control over my characters. Yes, I know, it sounds trite and like one of those things writers make up to sound more interesting. But trust me, I don’t need to make stuff up to think I am interesting—as my husband has repeatedly reminded me, I have an ego that makes it difficult to fit out the front door. Is it any wonder I don’t stay at home eating bon bons lounging in my awesomeness?

But I digress. We are discussing characters today, not me or my inflated confidence. Today I have an honest gripe with my characters.

In the past, we have seen Hailey from the Viator series swoop in like the girlfriend that throws herself at the boy checking you out across the bar. She’s high-jacked my blogs and my plots. And don’t get me wrong, it has made things highly interesting. But honestly, the issues I have had with Hailey stem from her stubbornness and fiery exclamations. She curses too much, can’t stay calm, and refuses to listen to orders. In general, though, she took the situations I threw at her and ran with them. I created the environment and stimulus. She reacted and moved us to the next scene. It was fabulous—(and did I mention?) highly entertaining.

One would expect that this pattern would continue with my other stories. And in general it has.

Enter Cibola’s Revenge and the mysterious characters jumping in for the ride without a by-your-leave. Oh yes, I have hobo’s grabbing hold of my plot lines. And what is even more frustrating is they come in exactly where they are supposed to and contribute essential and perfect aspects that apparently they knew I needed. I, however, remained oblivious until they wrote themselves onto paper.

Seriously? You couldn’t give me a heads up? Maybe a subliminal dream or a flash of insight? You just had to jump in there like something I had always planned.

And that’s the rub, because one would think if I had added characters then I must prepare for their appearance in previous chapters and would now need to go back to adjust the story for their arrival. Except, it seems I already have. Without intention. But they fit. Perfectly.

Sigh…I really thought I was driving this train.

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3 Responses to “When Characters Attack”

  1. I’ve never been able to control mine, Erin. Better get used to it!

  2. Unfortunately characters have little respect for their authors, and are perfectly happy to make the story go the way they want it to go…

  3. website said

    Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one!
    It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

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