Monday, November 17, 2014

Story Character Anarchy

Story characters can be mean, heartless individuals with no respect for an outline. They have been known to put the no in no-respect. And I have been their latest victim. Here is the setting: I have been full of writer pride; pumped up with the fact that I actually finished the outline for Suicide Soda. Showing off to friends, patting my back, thanking the often elusive Goddess of Writer Outlines, I have been totally jacked up with a smooth, sleek, polished outline. Even my eight grade English teacher would have been amazed by it.

And then--WHAM-O!!! That adventure seeking character, Jack, suddenly decided he wanted to change everything. Ignoring the path set for him, he decides that he wants to liven things up. Add some vodka to the juice, some passion to the air. Did he even ask me if it was okay to change the outline? Even send me a memo of warning that an alteration might be on it's way?

NO. He just waltzed right in and messed up everything I had carefully lined up to happen. And I am now being treated like an outsider. I was there when he was created, for goodness sake. Don't I deserve some respect?

And who can I turn to for help? Is there a Writer Outline Crises line for me to call? A division of the police force that could arrest Jack for his crime? What about an intervention group for fictional characters who blow off their inventor.

So this leaves me stuck with an outline that has to be massaged, caressed and wooed back into life.

AND, I have to admit to my writer friends that I no longer have a completed, beautiful-beyond-compare outline. OH, the tragedy of it all.

When I started writing stories for fun, why didn't anyone warn me that this stuff can actually be difficult?

Heather Leigh,
Author of Stories and Victim of Characters

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