Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When a Story Takes on a Life of its Own

When I sit down to write a story, generally I have an impression, a direction. Something inspires me and I run with it. Sometimes the conflict is obvious, sometimes not so much. Sometimes I have to take time out to map the story to make sure I don't run off into nowhere, writing something boring.

For the sequel to Mist on the Meadow, I have my map. I know where I want to take it, what questions I need to answer from the first in the series. This series is a continuing saga--a trilogy--from the first book, where Marissa finds out she's "special," to what that means, to what she can do with it. Each book will take us to the ultimate conclusion, which is basically "what does she need her special skills for?" And each book will focus on a different character in their circle.

I've made good progress in the second installment, and thought I had the story headed the right direction, when suddenly Wolf and Marissa hijacked it. This isn't their story (although they are critical to the plot). And I found out something about the characters that I didn't know before. The story has taken on a life of its own and the characters are showing me things I didn't expect.

Plot twist!

First thing I have to do is wrestle control back from Wolf and Marissa. This isn't their story, but they did show me what I needed to know to move forward. So now I have to go back and pick up the broken parts, where they kicked this story's main character to the side, and have her assert her control. And it makes for better conflict.

This is the point when I'm writing that I'm frustrated and thrilled, both at the same time. Frustrated, because things aren't turning out the way I planned, thrilled, because the characters have taken on a life of their own. Looking back, I see a trend. I'm about a quarter of the way into the story. This same thing happened with Heart for Rent, where something I planned took on a whole new meaning. I planned the stranger in the park, but by the time I wrote him, he turned into someone else. It threw me for a loop, and in that book, it complicated my process.

As I write this book, I'm excited by the turn of events. Sometimes the best things are the things you least expect. If the characters can surprise me, the author, hopefully they can surprise the reader, as well. And that makes the book more interesting to read! Mist on the Meadow has been a fun series to write - combining my love of romance with my love of the supernatural and creating my own German Fairy Tale.

Back to it. Time to politely tell Wolf and Marissa to step back and let the other character have her book, while at the same time thanking them for showing me something I didn't know before.


  1. Now you are making me get excited about reading the book. If you remember, I had trouble with the first book simply because It wasn't my kind of book. But I'm looking forward to the second just to see what happens to the characters. I always like your style of writing.

  2. Thanks, Mario's mom. This series is more of the supernatural, and how those supernatural gifts are going to help the good guys stop the bad guys. :-)