Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hey, who's in charge here anyway?

A few years ago, my Sizzling Sisters and I decided to create a series of books. Each of us would write a story or a novella based in the fictional town of Port Clef, CT. We had a great time building the town and populating it with our characters, some of whom end up in each others' stories.  I had volunteered to write the first story.

It didn't exactly work out that way. Two plus years later, my Sweet Spot story is finally out! CAT SCRATCH FEVER was a story I had kicking around in my brain for a long time. I'd thought about it and thought about it and heard the characters speaking in my head forever. When I finally got down to seriously writing it, something strange happened. It was like the characters had been waiting around for me to get my act together for so long, they were sick of my pace and decided to take over.

I had planned on writing a novella. Apparently, Sage and Walker didn't think their story could be told that quickly. (It's almost 50,000 words) I had planned on making it romantica. Sage and Walker weren't quite so quick to hop into bed together. (Although, when they did, it was HAWT!) I had planned on having all sorts of convoluted conflicts and personal angst. Yeah, they weren't going for that either.

You may be thinking, "Hey, you're the AUTHOR, stop making excuses and write the book the way you planned!". I tried that. It didn't work. Every time I tried to force the book to go the way I had outlined it-- and I use that term very loosely--my writing stalled and I couldn't move the story forward. When I just let go and let them take over, I couldn't type fast enough to keep up with the words pouring out of my brain.

I think sometimes you just have to go with what's working, in writing and in life. If we get too caught up in controlling everything, we may just steer ourselves in a direction we didn't want to go. I generally like being in charge, but in this case, I'm glad I was able to let it ride. Sometimes it's nice to let someone else drive.

I hope you'll pick up a copy of CAT SCRATCH FEVER and take it out for a spin yourself!

1 comment:

Lynn LaFleur said...

Those silly characters have a way of taking over, don't they, Ari? I've experienced the same thing. But I've learned the characters usually know what's best, so I listen to them and let them take me along on their journey.