I think the thing that I find most interesting about writing is seeing where the story takes me. I always sit down with a plan. Book A will go from this point to this point hitting these key plot points along the way. And it never fails that my characters thumb their nose at me and take me where they want to go. Every single book something happens that either makes me question what I know about a character, or about the story itself. And I’m the writer. My characters really oughta be nice and do what I tell them to do.
But, nope, they don’t. I’m working on Book Three at the moment. As I sat down to write Book Three I knew where I wanted the story to go. It started out just fine. Everyone behaved and played their parts. That was until approximately Word 12,113. That’s when Alexandria Houston, my darling little sixteen years old girl, suddenly decided to go rogue on me. I thought we were headed one way, and she’s all the way over on the other side of the issue. I mean, hello? She’s sixteen! She should listen to me! I know what’s good for Alexandria.
Everything else was going just fine. Peter Zeidrich seemed perfectly fine with a beautiful woman showing up at his door. (Okay, he’s twenty-six and single, so a beautiful woman might be just what he dreams about.) Hans Zeidrich seemed fine that he was playing the part of the father/grandfather who isn’t perfect and can’t protect his family. Alexandria even played her sweet, not-quite-innocent-but-still-acts-innocent self until that point. I admit the girl is as smart as a whip. So, I shouldn’t be shocked sometimes Alexandria does things that shock me. But, this was totally out of character for Alexandria. Completely out of character.
Now, being a good writer, I realized someone needed a talking to. Which meant Alexandria and I needed a heart-to-heart, or a “Me author. You character. Do it my way!” We scheduled some time together for a little sit down. (Yes, I talk to my characters as though they are real people. When you spend this much time with a character they are human to you.)
We had a nice little discussion that went kinda like this:
Me: Alexandria, dear, um, what the heck are you doing? ‘Cause what you’re up to isn’t like you? Are you feeling okay? Did I add a bit too much stress? Do you need a couple days rest? A trip somewhere else? Nice trip to Hawaii?
Alexandria: I know what I’m doing. Trust me, Amanda Nicole. This works better for the story.
Me: See, you’re sixteen. I remember being sixteen. I wasn’t exactly that smart.
Alexandria: I live on a neo-Nazi militia compound. I’m not innocent.
Me: Just because you live on the compound and have a pretty good idea of what goes on in the criminal element doesn’t mean you can pull this off.
Alexandria: I have a plan.
Me: Really? Wanna fill me in? Because I don’t see it. You do this and people might not like you anymore.
Alexandria: They like Michael Corleone.
Me: Yes, but do they really like him, or just like the whole idea of the mob. And you’re not Michael Corleone. You don’t believe in Race Supremacy.
Alexandria: No, but this isn’t about the White Race or whatever they are calling themselves at the moment. This is about my family.
Me: Fine, we’ll go in your direction for a few days. If I think you are in danger, I reserve the right to write a new subplot that saves your little behind.
Alexandria (with a shrug): Fine.
And y’all thought the writer was in control of the story, the plotline and the characters! Ha! Anywho, I figured y’all might like a behind the scenes look the writing of the books. Or, a peek inside a meeting between Alexandria and me.
Monday, I’ll have an update on this week’s queries. We’ll see if I have anything to add to my QT page.