Do your characters behave? Do they follow their profiles and those wonderful storyboards that you have placed in your rough notes? Mine don’t. They are getting out there with a mind of their own! I start to write and then for some reason the words just take off in a totally unexpected direction. It’s good that I write fiction lest I change the history of the world.
The difficulty is not in the initial write, which is more often than not great fun. The problems arise when I start rereading chapters and realise that my continuity has been somewhat shot to pieces. Vital pieces of pre-information have to be inserted into previous chapters and often certain lines or actions obliterated. Scars are formed and wounds miraculously healed. Hidden objects become not so hidden and crucial devices are now laid out to the scrapyard, possibly hoping for a part in a further adventure.
I guess what I am trying to say in all this (and as a writer hopefully with some alacrity – but maybe not) is that these masterpieces we write are not just dead words of a pointless tale. To us writers, they are our children, our window boxes – cultivated and replanted until they bear true fruit. Even when published we want to rein them back in. Taking our favourites through difficult times become emotional milestones and yet we have never even left the room, or coffee shop in my case.
One must contend though that this is a good thing. It is actually the means by which most of our feelings and passions become real on the page. To live these moments with our impetuous, scallywag characters makes them true and not a two dimensional fraud. So although I laugh at writers who cry and shout at their characters (and also at myself) for getting too personal about these children of ours, I say this: Let them run wild and free, to take me to the places I could never get to on my own!
Originally posted 21 November 2014 on Blogspot