A Mind of Their Own

So I know that last time I did promise a tale of why Smart Cars are not meant for off-roading.  Trust me, I haven’t forgotten, but in the theme of my title, I feel compelled to share a few observations about writing.  To help summarize what I’ll be covering in personal experience, fellow writers, please enjoy the following:

All the time!:
One of my favorite authors of all time, Elizabeth Peters, remarked on how a character she had meant for one book became a 20+ book series.  Love her or hate her, there was no denying that Amelia Peabody had a mind of her own.  Anyone who has ever put characters to paper knows just how opinionated they can become.  My own experience with such a character was in a novella I was working on.  I managed to get so far as the 3/4 mark and then I hit a wall.  I am not a typical sufferer of writer’s block, but on that particular story, I just could not get the story going again.  Then, the very opinionated, very proper mother-in-law shared with me that if I would stop trying to make her the wicked witch in the story, I could finish it.  Low and behold (is that how you spell that?) the story was finished in less than a day after Matilda and I came to terms.  And to this day, when I think of Elizabeth Peter’s comments about Amelia, I am reminded of Matilda.

Anyway, fast forward to NaNoWriMo 2015.  I have dedicated an entire series to be written only during November, and I’ll admit to some trepidation this year as my main characters were twin boys, not exactly a subject I have a ton of expertise in.  However, they were the characters I had created, and they were where the story was headed.  I couldn’t avoid that.  

This has been one of the trickier stories I’ve written in awhile, though, for while the tale centers on the twins, I had not realized how very different they were until I started.  And, having completed the first five chapters, it occurred to me that while the flippant twin, Patrick, and I got along just fine, I hadn’t taken the time to truly get to know Peter.  I struggled for a few days trying to figure out how to get all the pieces to line up, but then the idea occurred to me that they were two different characters and it was time I treated them as such.  And so, yesterday, I wrote what was easy.  I wrote the chapters that were Patrick’s, and Pat’s alone.  Today, I dedicated my time and energy to getting to know Peter better.  The problem is that Pete’s a bit shy, and harder to get out of his shell, but deep down, he’s as much a part of me as his brother.  Maybe the true talent here will be in showing the world through this story my own insecurities.  Maybe that’s what Pete has been trying to tell me all along, but I’ve been too afraid to notice. 

True...so all the voice people  say i'm talking to are just people i wrote about...which are in my head...so i guess i am talking to the voices in my head, but you never know maybe I made a book character after you, so then I'm really talking to you in my head...YES.:

My advice to all writers out there, based on my own experience, is to give your characters that chance to tell you what you’ve been missing.  I can promise you you won’t regret it. And those that take the most time to get to know are often the ones most worth knowing because they will change the story in ways you never saw coming.  And please, I would love to hear from fellow writers and/or NaNoWriMo participants.  Writers are not necessarily the most gregarious of people, but sometimes it can be wonderful to connect with another soul who understands and doesn’t just think I’m crazy.

Next time, I promise, tales of Smart Cars.

P.S. I just realized that all of yesterday, when I was working on the separate chapters of my outgoing twin, I was super competitive about NaNoWriMo word sprints…oddly enough, when I separated the story completely to focus on my introvert, I haven’t competed in one…I promise I’m not crazy, I’m just a writer.

Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: