Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Character Whisperer

Sometimes, my characters talk to me.

I know that sounds weird...and knowing ME, it probably is. But once I develop a character for a story, sometimes they take on a life of their own.

Let me see if I can give you an example from "The Prodigal's Foole" that's spoiler-free.

In the third act of the book, the climax is rapidly approaching and I needed the main character --Symon Bryson-- to do something significant. As I was writing the scene, a different character in the same scene literally said in my head:

"Wait. I should do that and here's why...."

You'll recognize the scene when you read it, assuming I ever get to the publication stage. Although I will say that there are few close relatives and friends who are running through the manuscript offering up critique and will see the scene for themselves. The rest of you will have to wait.

Anyway, the second character was RIGHT. It was a bit unexpected, made sense, and added a very interesting complication that will bleed over into book two. So I listened to that second character and relegated Symon to observer status for that particular scene.

I literally rubbed my hands together in evil anticipation of the change. I couldn't type the words fast enough.

It's the beauty of doing character development and pre-work before jumping into your novel.

Because once you pump life into your creations, they will speak to you. All you need to do is listen.


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