This wasn't supposed to happen. I had a plan, a well laid out plot and it was working well. Until last week, when my characters decide they were taking charge of their own actions. We all sat down and had a chat. They agreed to follow the general outline of the plot and I agreed to give them freer rein meandering through it. It worked out really well until yesterday.
Yesterday Will, one of my main characters, did something completely unplanned. Frankly, I was blown away by the awesomeness of it and said "Kudos to you, Will. That was beautiful." And it was. It was so beautiful I announced its awesomeness on Twitter and shared the lines with a couple of friends, who in their wisdom, also basked in its sheer magnificence. After I reveled in this unexpected move on Will's part, I rolled up my sleeves and said. "Enough gloating, time to get back to work." But the day got away from me and I didn't start writing until almost 11:00 last night. I doodled around with my chapter, backing up, rereading, getting to the last awesome line and... nothing. I did write a couple of more sentences, reinforcing Will's departure from the plan and then... nothing. I thought "You're tired, that's okay. You have a full morning in "the office" (aka Starbucks) we'll just work on it then."
Cut to this morning. Open up my manuscript, reread last section, get to last line... nothing. Okay, I thought, maybe this wasn't Will after all. Maybe I just came up with this and thought it was. So I backed up, decided to rewrite when Will told me his next move and he did the same thing! And he did it again. Will did the same thing three times. I was getting aggravated. So I decided Will and I needed to have a chat.
"Look dude, we had an agreement. I let you do what you want and you cooperate. What's the friggin' deal?"
Will just looked at me like I lost I mind. (Some would argue that talking to a make believe character in my head confirmed it, but then again I never claimed to be sane.)
We were at a stand still and I was feeling a bit of panic. What could I do? Could I just shove words down his throat, take back what he said? It didn't feel right. So I decided to try one more time.
"Will, darlin', come on. Help me out. Your line is beautiful, amazing, but no one's ever going to see if you don't move forward."
Finally he gave me an exasperated look and said. "You are talking to the wrong person. Emma's the one who's stalling."
Will said his amazing line to Emma and I never thought about her reaction. I apologized profusely, promising to take her feelings into consideration in the future. I asked "Emma what is your reaction to what Will said?" And she surprised me with a completely different answer than I expected. I wrote her response and then we flew through the rest of the chapter.
So what did we learn?
1) We learned that Denise is having full fledged conversations with make believe people in her head.
a) but she seems harmless
b) so far
2) That we need to be more respectful of our characters and never assume their reaction.
a) if we piss them off we should apologize profusely
b)its a really good idea to apologize to them with chocolate because they can't eat it so you are obligated to eat it instead.
3)Stop gloating over awesome lines
a)only if you can stop yourself
a)only if you can stop yourself
b) but not if they are really awesome