So here I am. Back in the station. I have been paragraphs away from finishing TDC (This Damn Chapter for those of you playing along at home) for almost two weeks, yet I still haven't finished!
I realized today that my new character is holding me up. A few months ago, I took all of the notes that previously existed only in my head (yes, not the best place for them) and wrote them down, outlining the remaining chapters of my WIP. This was extremely helpful for many reasons, including protecting my work from my sometimes forgetful brain.
Seriously though, this helped me in two huge ways. First, it solidified the story in my mind. I realized early on where this book was going to end, but the actual act of writing it down helped me figure out how to break down the remaining events into chapters.
But the second way my outline helped me was a complete surprise: it gave me a new character! I squealed (not waking the sleeping child) in joy!! I was so excited and couldn't wait to meet the new character! For the sake of this blog, let's say it's a guy, and his name is... um... George. So, I wrote away, anxiously awaiting the day Skye (my protag) would meet George and find out all kinds of cool things.
Then she met George. *crickets chirping* What just happened?!?!? The words, which up to this point, had been flowing at a fairly consistent rate, slowed to a trickle. And I couldn't figure out why. Which led to frustration! I may be a fan of many things, but I assure you frustration is not one of them.
After writing and chopping the same pages over and over, I realized something: I never sat down and really figured out George. I have been living and breathing Skye and Forrest for so long, I know them well, very very well. I know what they would say and do. I know how they would react in any given situation. But George is a mystery. So I had to back up and figure out George. It's put me behind schedule (my schedule is kinda like the Pirate Code--more like a guideline), but I think I finally figured it out. Phew! So now I can (and should) go back and finish TDC already before Tamy has withdrawals. ;o)
On a side note, I had a similar experience in my last chapter, but that one was with a character I thoroughly knew and understood. What I didn't know was what that character would say and do in a given situation. So I wrote it first from that character's POV and then changed it to Skye's POV! It was so much fun getting in that character's head and seeing what runs through that character's mind. I'm glad I don't have to always write from that POV though, because that character's mind is a dark and spooky place!
Anyway, do your characters give you hassles? If so, how do you handle it?
Just remember this: killing aggravating characters off is all fun and games until someone loses an eye! ;o)
See you next time!!