Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When the voices take over

Being a writer means that not only do you hear voices in your head, but you actively eavesdrop on their conversations like they were sitting at the next table at your local coffee shop. They are the voices of the characters you writing about, and like the whispers of a writer's muse, they're an integral part of the creation process. Oh sure, I can slog on without them, but it is a hell of a lot easier to write when everyone is present and accounted for.

I should probably qualify that last statement. It can be a lot easier to write when the characters whose story you are telling are present in your head, if they agree with the way the story is going. If they collective decide they don't like where the train is headed, they can derail things very quickly and with spectacular results. 

Thus was the case yesterday. I'm on a personal deadline to get this WIP finished, polished and subbed by the end of the month. That deadline should have been fine, but somehow this book has grown from it's intended 50k (ish) projected ending to 59k and growing fast. I finally worked myself to one of the big crunch moments of the story last night, and as it unfolded the voices struck again. Faced with the choice to fight for my original plot line or let the characters dictate a new one, I waved the white flag and let 'em go for it. I pulled off 3k words in less than three hours, and I have to say that I'm glad I let the voices win. This version will be staying in the final draft and I didn't have to grind my way through it word by word as my characters protested and dragged their heels.

Now if I can just get them to cooperate for the next few days, maybe I can finally type those lovely words. The End.