There are times that we hate our characters. And sometimes, we really hate them. They do what they want. You want them to do one thing, they tell you where to go and do what they want, and in the process change the entirety of the story that you had plotted out. Then, there’s that one character who you intend to be a NPC, minor character that really doesn’t have any relevance. Turns out that one tiny, minor character isn’t so minor after all. They’re the one that holds everything together, and for the millionth time you’re back to the drawing board, scratching your head and trying to figure out just where to go from here …
But the one thing worse than that? The bossy characters. The characters that know best, and perhaps worst of all can prove that they do. Suddenly, the story works, the flow of words are better and you have to eat humble pie and do what they want to do because … they know best.
Those are the unbearable ones. The insufferable ones.
And that’s where Charlotte and I are right now.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great. The problem we have now is that we have two characters who are smug. And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s a smug character. It brings out the rebel in me that almost wants to self sabotage my own work, just to prove that I’m right. Or maybe that’s just me being a control freak and failing to realise that when it comes to writing … as writers, we have no control over our work.
We like to think we write it, but we don’t. We like to think that this story is all our own creation, and whilst, yes, it is … it really isn’t. We might put pen to paper, we might put the words down on the page but actually the real magic comes from the characters who tell the tale. The ones who create the world, the beasts and everything that goes with it – at least, when writing fantasy.
Right now, we have a world that’s functioning. There are places, locations and there are languages. A year ago, I’d never have thought it was possible to have a world, where we’d created our own languages. But a year on, here we are … languages in tow and a world that was starting to flourish. The only problem we had were the characters … and the writing itself.
And then the magic happened.
Take two bossy characters. Give them control over the world, and suddenly they’re dictating all that happens and our story starts to flow. It becomes clearer … and the writing becomes better, it becomes relevant and for the first time in a long time it seems possible to finish this project that had, for a little while at least, become a bit of a chore for us both.
So back to the grind we go now. And, as much as I might say I hate it … I really don’t, I love writing, I love losing myself in a world and characters of my own creation … especially where the world that we all live in now is at.
Keep safe out there everyone!