Out of Control Characters II

After a night of writing like this, it’s hard to keep from gloating. For that matter, it was hard to keep from gloating after last Monday’s session, too. I’ve been really pleased with the results. Last time Richard opened up to K in an unusual way, and tonight he identified and forced K to deal with the fact that she was in denial over her loss.

What was interesting was that I didn’t realize that K was doing that until Richard said she was.

Back in my early days, when I was researching How To Be A Real Writer, I would read accounts of writers talking about how they’d be tooling along on their latest project and then – and they’d always describe it in the same way”

“…it was as if the characters just came to life on their own, and I was merely writing down what they were doing.”

Admittedly I was something of a cynic back in those days, and I remember thinking each time I read these words coming out of the mouth of a different writer, I’d think:

“Yeah, right. They’re just saying that because it’s good publicity and it gets the audience excited over the quality of the book.”

Then it happened to me while writing A Death of Honor. You know that nifty scene about a third of the way into the book where Rodriguez puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger? That wasn’t supposed to happen. According to my outline he was supposed to live another 100 pages or so and provide valuable information that would propel the end of the book.

Apparently Rodriguez had other ideas.

Actually, it was my subconscious that had other ideas. I think that’s where moments like this come from. It’s hard to explain them any other way. Although it’s certainly not as romantic as the thought of a character coming to life, out of the control of the ostensible author.

Ahh, whatever. Think of it any way you want. I’ll go along.

So when I get interviewed for And/News publicity and talk about that wonderful moment when the protagonist knew what was going on with the female lead before I did, you can smile and nod and think –

“Yeah, right. He’s just saying that because it’s good publicity and it gets the audience excited over the quality of the book.”

Today’s Scorecard
514 Pages (+10)
113,852 Words (+2374)

NP – Renaissance, Live at Carnigie Hall, Disc 1

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