20 November 2008

NaNo Bits: Character Mutiny #1

It happens every time I write any kind of fiction. I don't know why it still surprises me.

But it does.

I guess there's just something sort of shocking (and exciting and magical, truth be told...) about your characters looking up from the page/screen, giving you the hairy eyeball, then shaking their heads at each other and - in unison- yanking the plot out from between your fingers.

It's just so ... well, I don't know what to call it, but it's very similar to the rush I got in my younger (and fitter) days from skiing and rock & ice climbing. Thrilling, maybe? I don't know. That seems corny.


Let's just say it's just really, really cool when you realize that your charcters know your story better than you do.

As you might have guessed, it happened again today. I had this scene all planned out where these two characters, who haven't been getting along, suddenly find some common ground. Only they didn't. Well, actually, they not only didn't find common ground, they fought like cats trespassing in another cat's territory. And it was exactly what they should have done and much better than what I had planned for them.


Anyway, here's a snippet. The writing totally sucks (I consider the end product of NaNo to be nothing more than a really detailed outline, so be warned). I'm only posting it because this is the end of the scene and they're supposed to be all hugging and bff with each other... hah!

Heilla’s expression changed to one of irritation. “Oh, I see. This isn’t about you or me – this is about Bran, isn’t it?”

“You just stay away from him,” Eydis snapped. “If I catch you near him again, I’ll make you wish you’d never been born. Understand?”

Heilla managed to look dignified as she said, “Perfectly. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find some clean clothes.”

“Right,” Eydis sneered as the other girl went past. “You do that. Just don’t go anywhere near the infirmary. I’m serious.”

“Whatever,” Heilla said and she left.


Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, I *adore* those moments. The first time it happened to me was many years ago when I was writing the very first draft of Shannari's second book (which sucketh really badly). I had her heading to the large tent where all nine khuls were meeting. In my head, I was planning all the political drama, and WHAMMO, Death Riders attacked. I didn't know they were there. I swear! Still gives me goosebumps (although that scene never made it into the final version).

Bethanie said...

Death Riders out of nowhere?! Wow, goosebumps, indeed! Those moments are so cool... I have to wonder where they come from -- I mean, it's like this stuff is in my head and yet it's not... the Story ether, maybe?