Sep 162015

Not only have some of us heard a form of the above from a frustrated adolescent we are equally frustrated at trying raise, I, for one, have thrown those same words at whatever WIP I’m struggling to finish and submit.

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t.

As with all things new, an undeveloped story idea is, in many ways, a gift. Something that comes to you from who knows where. Pristine and fresh. Ready and anxious to grow. So you grab hold and run with it.

Things go along fine for quite some time. You and your characters are getting along beautifully. Everyone is happy and content to do exactly what is expected of them. Life is good. Life is grand.

Then without warning or provocation It! happens. Anarchy of the worst kind invades this perfect world you and your characters have created. And you are at a definite loss what to do about It!.

You have decided to take the action one way, your characters disagree. They have arbitrarily chosen to go in a totally different direction. You’d prefer they slide down the hill and have completed extensive research on how that is done. They insist on climbing up the hill, and you have no idea about the necessary logistics. You want your hero and heroine to enjoy a romantic evening somewhere. They’d rather fight about issues that have been bothering them for some time.

Book Characters - Tug of War

So now what? Which of you is going to triumph in this literary tug of war? Fortunately, you both can.

Take my advice. Don’t fight the providences when they arrive. Tuck and roll with it. Do what you have to do to get the story down.

After all, there’s no telling when another such gift will come your way. You know what they always say about a rough draft. You at least have something to work with. There’s really nothing you can do with a blank, empty page. Except maybe fill it up with the aforementioned rough draft.

How about you? When your characters mutiny, do you always, never or sometimes let them win?

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