Monday, January 24, 2011

When folks show up unannounced

Today I want to talk about a very serious problem- folks popping in without warning. Now I'm not talking about friends who may show up on your doorstep, no, this is much worse.

New characters who show up without calling first- WHEN I have no right nor reason to be working on a new book being as I'm editing a mess of them already.

Here's how this happened.

I am always on the look out for cool names. Since I work on a very VERY big college campus I have access to lots of amazing names. Usually I make note of the name (sometimes I think it would sound better with an extra letter, or a different first letter, etc.). Earlier this week a guys name popped up- I won't mention it because I don't like to talk names until a character has gelled (I'm a character first, plot later gal). This name would make a great character- but somehow I knew he was a in the brother of a main character. Then a girl's name popped up a few days later. Great- store that one away too.

Now, I'm up at my own self-inflicted writer's retreat in lovely Santa Cruz. The point of it is to relax and EDIT. A LOT.

But on the 8 hour drive up here, my tricksy mind started playing with the two characters. Soon they started having BACKSTORY! And, you guessed it, they are are siblings. SIGH. You know how hard it is to edit when some very conniving characters are trying to worm their way in?!

Anyone have some ideas on character control? I'm editing Warrior Wench (the SF book) and right now Vas (the lead of that book) is about ready to space them.

Anyone else ever have this issue? My brain feels as backed up as an LA freeway right now!


  1. Those pesky characters! LOL

    I usually open a word doc and jot down all the notes as fast as I can, then I promise myself that when I finish the current project I will go back to that one.

    Otherwise I can't get focused and I never finish anything! LOL

    Good luck!!! And have fun up there! Wish I was with you... :)


  2. Thanks Lisa! I wish you were too- it's just very lovely!

    SIGH...I'm just not sure this bodes well for these characters being so pushy! Who knows what they'll do on the drive home!