Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Character Curse

I'm a writer. It is the core of who I am more than anything else. Every little thought that trickles into my head becomes something, some bigger than others, some remembered more than others. I know when I'm in trouble when a character develops from these bits and pieces so strongly they will not let me alone even to sleep.

I started a new series a few months ago set thousands of years from now using some ideas spawned from "What if" after research into ancient Sumerian beliefs and the Kings List and such. The Kings List was thought fiction because the age of some of the early kings named on it was beyond possibility. Oh really? Are we sure - what if it wasn't? And Daughter of Gods began.

In the story, a little girl became a very small secondary character. Six years old, she did little but follow others. Then I started working on the second book in the series, still untitled and just a few chapters long. Within the first chapter, this six year old pops up, only now she is 16 and a rebellious teen. I have two of those - teens that is, not so much rebellious. But I can still remember my teen years (and I'll let that be all I say). So writing this teen wasn't hard at all. Then, after the fourth chapter and she proved to be a main point of view character, she insisted on being 23 - to heck with the back story, to heck with the second book in the series. Kira wants her own, her nickname, Starlight, to be the title and she's not taking no or wait-your-turn for an answer. She's even presented herself to me in a full fledge sketch (above) that took me just hours to do but will be her book cover. And she has a character to share her story with that caught me by surprise. A child I didn't even know existed of a character from the first book. Surprise, there Dane was, all grown up and claiming the mighty Danik as his mother and out for revenge only he's not a vigilante but a scholar who's been sheltered all his life in a space station and suddenly dropped on the surface of Earth. He somehow stumbles stupidly into pulling Kira out of a mess she's gotten into and then ropes her into helping him only he has no idea who she is or how close to a dangerous mess he is.

And there the story goes, nag nag nag - no consideration for book two at all despite the fact 2 does come before 3. Characters, I have come to understand, care very little for their creator or for numbers or how things were planned.

And then there is Among the Ancients, Bryce and Kynly waiting very patiently for me to get on with polishing their story. Something tells me they will be patient for a few more years, but Kira age 23, not a chance.


Kristie Leigh Maguire said...

Fascinating behind the scenes look at the process of creation.
Kristie Leigh Maguire

JanetElaineSmith said...

Very well put, TC. Ah, yes, as a fellow writer, they can be such bossy little--well, you know! They all seem to have a mind of their own and they just expect us to follow along behind them!
Janet Elaine Smith

Joyce Anthony said...

I know the feeling, T.C.!!! Those characters just pop out of nowhere and surprise you--and stubborn...I thought I was stubborn until my characters became vocal!!! Thanks for sharing this-- loved your sketch!!!