Friday, May 14, 2021

Pull Up a Chair with Mon ~ What Do You Do When Your Characters Refuse to Comply? #AmWriting #WriteTip #Romance #Writers #AHAgrp


What Do You Do When Your Characters Refuse to Comply? 

Recently, after coming up with a great idea for a Harlequin Desire, I eagerly planned the story then sat down to write. What should have been an easy task of translating my plan for the story onto paper turned out to be one of the hardest books I've ever attempted. I spent a month fighting with my characters to make them follow my vision for this story, only to finally admit defeat. I hit a Y in the road. Either give up on the story or let my characters take over.

I decided to give the characters a chance to tell me their story. As it turned out, the only thing my characters wanted to change was the way I told their story. I imagined a dark story of heartbreak and unforgiveness. What my hero and heroine are giving me is a flirty story about forgiveness and learning to trust. 

I've heard other authors speak of their characters taking over, but I've never had that experience to this extent. I always put it down to good planning. So when my characters refused to comply, I was stumped. Convinced this story was a lost cause, I was about to scrap the book and start afresh with another idea. Thankfully, before I did that, I handed the reins to my hero and heroine, and I'm delighted I did! Now the story is finally flowing and I can't wait to hear the next candid line my hero shocks the heroine with. 

I have high hopes for this story and can't wait to submit the proposal. I guess it goes to show that no matter how seasoned a writer we are, there's always something new to learn. And from now on, I won't be wasting time duking it out with my character to make them do what I want them to. I'll simply sit back and allow them to guide me in the task of telling their story, no matter how it may contrast with my vision. It makes for less grey hair and frustration.

So, what do you do when your characters refuse to comply?

You step aside and let them have free rein! It might be a sign that the way you're telling the story isn't the way it's meant to be told, and you just might be pleasantly surprised.

Have you, as an author/writer, ever experienced this? I'd like to hear how you deal with uncooperative characters.