Sunday, March 11, 2012

2nd Sunday Savors: Characters

Characters: definition:


  1. The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
  2. The distinctive nature of something.

I remember the day clear as if it were this morning. I was riding the MAX home listening to Depeche Mode"s It's No Good.  I closed my eyes and was taken to a moonlight meadow in the Fagarasi Mountains were a gypsy witch and a vampire stood together. He loved her so much because she was his beloved incarnate. She felt attracted to him as well, but held back. From there stemmed my first novel, Six Roses. I went home and wrote the first draft in about 3 months. Then I rewrote it changing her age from 16 to 18. But that draft didn't feel right either so I rewrote the entire novel, now making her an adult. With each evolution, the story became better. Yet there was something missing and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

So I rewrote the story taking a new spin on things. What if the girl who wrote Six Roses, discovered this world was real when the characters she created came into her life, and caused all sorts of mischief? Thus became my second novel The Vampire Novelist. I received lots of interest for this one, but because my writing wasn't quite up to par it was rejected each time. I loved this story and the character I created, but something lacked.

Last November, I participated in NaNoWriMo and I rewrote the original story AGAIN. 4th time now. This round I changed the plot completely, but kept the main & supporting characters. I did add a new character, a handsome young Orthodox priest. That's when the worst possible thing happened.

My gypsy witch fell in love with him.

I was so shocked I almost stopped writing the damn story. This couldn't be happening. She's supposed to be with vampire. They are soul mates! I screamed. I cried. I drank lots of whiskey. I couldn't sleep. And finally I accepted the inevitable. She was going to be with priest and there was nothing I could do about it.

That was in November. In early February as I was completing Editpalooza, it hit me harder than a speed train. My characters had taken a life of their own. They had become three dimensional beings. (All in my head, of course.) Here I was trying to force two people together who weren't meant to be lovers in this incarnation of her soul and it took five rewrites (if you count the spin off novel) for me to figure this out.

 Dude, writing is HARD! FRUSTRATING! DEMANDING! Can drive a person to alcoholism. But it's also so rewarding. Best part: you're never alone. I have my characters living with me 24/7 telling me what they think or making snide remarks about my choice in fashion some days. It gets noisy at times, but we're just one big happy family. When I try to abandon or ignore them, they sing this song:

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings.

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