I have a character who is great at derailing things in my first novel, The Summoners. I love her, and I love that she does that. But she’s a crazy maker, and it has caused some interesting conflicts with some of my other characters. This character has a knack for commandeering plans, and since most people avoid confrontation, she can get way with it. She’s even affected my writing process.
As I continue to grow as a writer, my process has grown and changed too. One thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t feel the urge to write a story chronologically anymore. I can write it in whatever fashion comes to me. I can write the ending first and then write myself to it. Or, write the middle and figure out what needs to happen before or after for things to work out. One thing I’ve been doing with my WIP is to write whatever scene I feel is at the tip of my writing thoughts—which one I feel coming to me more. As I’ve been doing this, I’ve had my derailing character on the back burner because she’s not in certain scenes closer to the end of the novel. In fact, I planned on finishing the rest of the story without her, and then going back to write and weave her into the story. Nope. I found myself stuck trying to get out those scenes for other characters’ stories because she’s not the type of character to be dealt with second. On page and in mind, I have to know what she’s doing first before moving on to anyone else. She isn’t even the main character! Total Diva derailer, right? I mean I’m happy that she feels like she’s the hero to her own story, but damn woman, let up! I actually wrote a short story on a roommate who likes to derail things. The story, Death by Insanity: The Ultimate Roommate Horror Story, is over at Medium, and is a short, fun read on someone living with a derailing character.
Anyhow, it’s just funny to me that this one character has influenced my writing process. When you write different stories with different types of characters, be open to tweaking your writing process to deal with the kinds of personalities you’re working with. After all, we’re just secretaries, recording down the adventures of these people!
[Featured photo credit: Jinx!]