WHEN CHARACTERS TAKE OVER
Before I became a writer (a very new development), I would read how authors sometimes found the characters in their stories going in different directions than originally planned. In other words, those pesky heroes and heroines sometimes acquired minds of their own. How is this possible, I wondered? The writer is in charge, he or she knows where the story is going, they've plotted it out, written copious pages of notes, done outlines. This baby is being told by the writer, not the characters.
Well, the joke was on me. I now know exactly what those other authors meant. Take Alex Fleming, the hero of "If Tomorrow Never Comes". Before I started writing his and his lady love, Dani's, story I thought I knew him inside out. Tall, dark, and handsome. Ex-military with a secret in his past that was preventing him from having his much deserved Happily Ever After. I began the book very confident my guy would toe the line and be the man I thought he was. I soon found out alpha males are not good at taking orders--not even from their creators. And don't even get me started on Dani. She turned out to be even more stubborn than Alex. The surprises just kept on coming. At least it made for an interesting journey for us all. Learning to wrangling obstinate characters was an unexpected, frustrating but ultimately rewarding part writing "If Tomorrow Never Comes". I think I and my mule-headed characters came out the better for the adventure.
Happy reading everyone.
Mary J. Williams