11 Dec

Love, Hate and other Shenanigans

Most times I love my characters. Even if they are hard to like, even if they do horrible things, even if they hurt others like hell, I could keep looking, smiling and cooing at them, and genuinely feel wretched when something bad happens to them (and that happens a lot).

But you know what? Sometimes they fully deserve going through hell. Because they do share one of my most despised character flaws: Their mood and actions change with the weather. What they keep promising me in one chapter, they gleefully ruin in the next just because they feel like it.

found on freizeitfreunde.de

My inexperience with my characters’ unpredictable behaviour led to my first manuscript taking 8 years to emerge and at least as many reviews and rewrites, which saw main characters becoming pushed out of the picture by minor characters and whole storylines becoming obsolete.


With “Number 2″, my current project, I promised myself I will finally restrain them from running wild by having not only an overall structure of where the story goes, but also creating more detailed chapter previews of one page each for appx. 5-7 upcoming chapters. Problem solved …

found on sheknows.com

Oh, the naiveté of it all! Again I had to learn the hard way that I stand no chance outsmarting my characters as they are always a step ahead of me. The other day, when trying to finally catch up on my writing after another (not yet totally finished) move, I could only realise in dismay, that my latest chapter preview had become an unusable mess after only 3 chapters out of 7. Because topics couldn’t be addressed as planned, because characters decided to make an entrance although they were supposed to stay on the sidelines, because one storyline is moving slower than the other.


So it is time again for another review of the overall chapter structure, which I have only done all new 3 months ago. And which, I should mention, has been conveniently lost  in the move, with a documentation picture too blurry to actually reveal not only who is part of a scene but also what the scene is actually about. I guess a few too many drinks as reaction to that were in order.


But then again I maybe should just not stress out too much about it. My characters will most probably show more erratic behaviour that make whatever structure there is of no use, anyway. And I, vengeful bitch that I am, will keep retaliating with even more drama and hardship for them. Which hardships exactly I of course cannot tell, as that will definitely change in the next chapter… Hm, starts sounding like a kind of Sean Penn/Madonna relationship.

found on redjeweledmedia.com





  1. 1 December 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I LOVE my Julian, who is of course, my main character, others have behaved quite well. Nobody has thrown any tantrums, well, other than Julian, but that’s to be expected of him. However, the boy gets away with a lot, because I love him so much.

    His story has changed along the way, though not the gist of it. He also has changed along the way, because he fooled me at first, he is not quite a vampire boy. He’s something else altogether. I joke and tease him calling him my mutant boy ;-) (he’s okay with this, he’s too busy checking his hair in the mirror to really take notice)

  2. 2
    December 14, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Hey Alannah – your love story with your main character seems to be a perfect one. You both seem definitely to be in it for the long term. :) Love the way he turned into something totally different over the past two years and can’t wait to see how he will be when this comes out. :) Bit vain though the pretty boy, no? ;) But I guess for a reason.

  3. 3 December 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    In the beginning, he was a bit mysterious with what his “difference” was, and with me being a vampire lover, well, I automatically jumped at that conclusion. It’s okay though, he’s cooler than a vamp ;-)
    Oh and yes, he’s very pretty, quite the looker and vain to boot ;-) However, he’s amusing in his vanity, not pompous, it’s more of a front, to hide his real self.

  4. 4 January 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Characters…those bastards. I agree with you that you love ‘em even when you want to hate ‘em. And I likewise outlined my #2 this time around. It’s true, though, that those fictional S.O.B.s will still derail the brilliant plans we initially have in store for them. It’s usually at that point when I question my sanity, allowing a figment of my imagination to overrule me! Bizarre feeling indeed when a story takes on a life of its own, but what’s perhaps even crazier is that I trust my characters’ instincts more than my own. :) Anyways, my initial outline consisted of very broad strokes, which has helped it adapt to any detours characters throw my way, but still…it’d be nice if they gave us a heads-up further in advance!

  5. 5
    January 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Haha, well put, my dear! And although I keep nagging about the fact my characters are so headstrong I love the unexpected doors they open for me and the story. I dare to say that my stuff and my life would be so much more boring without their little unpredictabilities … :)

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