Thursday, October 05, 2006


Lord, this writing business is tricky!
Once you've got your characters right, they don't want the plot as you wrote it. They won't do as they're told, or they wouldn't do it that way.
So what do you do?
In my case, I change the plot. I have to have a constructed plot, or else my characters run around wasting time and doing nothing, but I often change it half way through. Mainly in the small details, but suddenly a character will appear, and they seem to bring themselves to life.
It happened again recently. In a Department 57 book, I needed a computer expert, a walk-on part. Enter Candy. The Department 57 series is urban gothic, featuring shapeshifters, vampires and other Talents. My shapeshifters are mythical beasts. I don't do weres, just dragons, griffins and the rest.
So Candy enters. She's a dyed blonde, and proud of it. Although she spends most of her day using keyboards, she loves fancy manicures. And she's a basilisk, so she wears contact lenses. If she didn't, she'd turn everyone she looked at to stone.
So now people are writing to me and asking about Candy. I never meant her to be more than a walk-on, but the basilisk is taking over.
So what do I do with her now?

1 comment:

J L said...

She sounds like a blast -- love the contact lens angle. The other option, of course, is to give her funky eyewear which has a special lens which prevents turning folks to stone. Depending on her mood of the day, her eyewear changes. Since I own about 20 pairs of glasses, you can see where I get this idea.

I think you need to run with it. Maybe have her fall in love with someone as a subplot in another book, or have her as a continuing character in the rest of the series. There's a TV show here (which my mother adores) called NCIS, in which there's a funky girl-computer-expert with dyed hair and odd clothing choices (my opinion). I believe she's developed quite a following here in the States -- so go with it.

See where Candy takes you.