When Characters Just Won’t Behave…

So. I decide to write a book. I have it all planned out to the extent of knowing exactly what is going to happen in each chapter.

I begin to write, all writerly, holding a cup of coffee as any serious author would. Feeling all important, and excited about finally getting to the writing stage after all the planning. The story flows nicely and I tut-tut myself for not making such pre-planned stories before. This is so easy!

toystore

Then, almost at the beginning, a surprise characters hops into the story. Ok, I say, when I see my subconscious knew better and the character is actually needed to move the story along believably. Good job, subconscious, for writing him into the story.

Then another character – again at the beginning chapters of the story – announces he won’t be playing by the book. Now that would be the First Vampire, and his plan is… scary. Insane, would any psychologist say, but then again I’m sure not many psychologists have had the chance to evaluate the dark depths of a vampire’s mind.  There were hints to his motives in the first book, so his plans fit those. Ok, thank you, subconscious.

All right… Nothing major…  I tweak the plot accordingly, not much tweaking needed… Change the order of some chapters… Add some necessary details to some… aaaand… done!

I sigh, content that I have the project under control again. A sip of the all important coffee that keeps me ticking, and I resume writing. Only there is no place to put the coffee cup anymore. The desk that was rather neat when I started is now under a pile of Egyptology books, as historical details need to be checked. Not to mention the cats who do their best to help in writing.

kitty_on_keyboard

And then another main character suddenly develops a skill I did not expect. It just wrote itself into the story. And of course this veers the plot into unexpected directions. This would be Shuet, who can only go out at night when the sun doesn’t touch her. I stare at the sentence that appeared on the screen and say WHAT THE HECK did you just say you can do? Why, oh why? But then again I realise my subconscious knew exactly what it did when the sentence just flowed into the story. Of course, of course it has to be there. Subconscious knew it all along… (I mumble under my breath that it could have told me this earlier…)

Tweaking, planning, sighing, removing, adding… Ok, finally the rest of the book is planned again. My hair is standing up from me pulling it while staring at the chapter plan, and I am having symptoms of caffeine overdose.

Seriously, characters – and my subconscious mind. Would you please start behaving and follow my nice plan for the story? It took me a month to make!

Sometimes writing a book and trying to make the characters follow orders is like herding cats… The subconscious remains nice and quiet when you analyse and make timelines and chapter plans. It gives a few nice tips what might happen, when and where. And when you start writing it begins to behave like a kid in a toy store. “I don’t want that after all! I want that! Oooo, and that! And that one from the upper shelf as well!”

Oh well. I continue with the story. Resigned to the fact that no matter how much I love calendars and careful planning to stay of top of my projects, the sequel to Nephilim Quest 1: Shadowhunter just snorts at such plans.

But I have to say I can’t wait each day to start writing again, to see how the story develops.

Back to the old keyboard (Shoo! Get off, cat!)

 

 

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