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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Do You Trust Your Characters?

So I'm taking this workshop on voice at Access Romance, which the wonderful Sasha White is instructing. I'm totally stealing this from her week three topic which is about trusting your characters.

Whether you're a plotter or a pantster, have you ever been writing furiously and your characters do something totally unexpected? Something that made you sit back and go, "Whoa, where did that come from?" Have you just went with it, allowing them in a sense to take you where they want to go (trusting them) or have you deleted it, feeling like it's the wrong direction?

I've done both. I'm a total pantster - I don't plot much because I feel it stifles my creativity. Now, if I'm mid-point in a story and not sure which way to go next I will sit down with a notebook and pen (that's what works best for me) and write it out. Wait a minute I'm going off topic...

Anywho, I've had characters do or say something totally unexpected and I'm off. Off in another direction that's so exciting I can barely stand it. The story ended up being completely different than what I "sorta" planned but that's okay. It works. I listened to my characters, trusted them and let them show me what they wanted.

I've also had my characters get it wrong - at least to me. I've listened to them, went off in their preferred direction and realized halfway through I'm writing complete crap. As painful as we all know it is, I hit the delete button, got rid of the drivel they told me was perfect and started fresh.

Sometimes there's trusting your characters and then there's letting your characters run all over you.

I've also not listened to my characters, wrote what I wanted to write and realized that it was total crap too. Should've listened to them, I guess.

I sound like an out of control psycho who lets the "voices in her head" tell her how to write and I guess that's kinda true. But I have a feeling my fellow writers will understand.

Oh, man, I hope so.

This picture has nothing to do with any of this, I just thought it was funny.