Friday, November 09, 2007

Sometimes I feel as if I'm living and talking in a completely different universe from everyone else. Do you ever feel that way? I think and say things that make no sense to non-writers. In fact, those who don't write novels wouldn't understand this either, so I don't count journalists, magazine editors, or folks who write non-fiction. So I'll restate that more explicitly: Only writers of novels would understand.

My husband, bless his heart, laughs at me when I tell him the characters changed their minds and didn't like the direction a scene was going. "I've had to rewrite the entire chapter because they didn't like it!" or something I've said frequently about the hero in my historical romance, "I couldn't make Manuel do it. He simply refused to be bad!"

Writers of novels would (I hope) understand.

I've noticed when I get hung up in a chapter, more often than not it's because I tried to take the story in a direction the characters didn't want to go. In fact, I've got a story that's stopped cold because I tried to force the two main characters into a compromising position and they don't want to be there. It's going to entail massive edits. I have to go back into the chapter and figure out where it went wrong. Actually, I think it took a turn two chapters back... oh, goodness! I'm dreading it, so it's going to wait until this one is done.

Here's another problem - I've written 44,689 words, 200 pages, and I'm not even quite halfway through the story. What will I edit? Do I need to? The characters are compelling. They have a story to share and I don't want to ignore them. Though the story is centered around a little girl named Lena, who will grow to be a powerful prophetess, it also involves the entwined lives of seven other people. Their stories have to be told, or hers makes no sense. But so much has to happen to her that won't involve them. And some thing catastrophic must happen to make them lose track of one another. The problems grow and continue. That's what I get for writing a prequel to a six book series.

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