The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.

Experiment Update – When Characters Go Astray

I’ve mentioned once or twice that my characters have stopped being these little toys I can manipulate and have grown into their own. “Yay” for them. For me, it’s stressful. I feel like the parent who has taught their child everything they need to know and now must trust them to make their own decisions.

Except, I don’t.

Carson is giving me trouble as I write part 2 of Chapter 5. *Possible spoiler alert!* He wants to play with Lily and not the nice playground games like, “Red Light, Green Light” we use to play as children. I want to stop him. I want to tell him not to even think about it. And, I realize the hardest part about being in control is knowing when to relinquish it.

From a creative standpoint, why not? It goes with who Carson is as a person. I know Carson is exactly the type of person who would play with a person’s emotions. I just happen to not like those types of people. But, if it’s a requirement to make all characters likeable by my standards, we wouldn’t have literature.

I guess it’s just freaking me out because he’s adding in a subplot I did not foresee. AT ALL. And, I’m not sure if I should risk it since this is a, “Publish as I write” experiment. What if he leads me astray?

And back again to the other side of the coin…what Carson is plotting is so natural to his nature, to go against it may be the real damage. I don’t like stories to be contrived. (who does?) And I feel to make Carson go any other direction than what he has proposed would be forcing the story to match my way whether or not it’s for the best.

What would you do?


9 comments on “Experiment Update – When Characters Go Astray

  1. emmawolf
    July 31, 2012

    Risk it. It might be easier to let a subplot that disappoints fall by the wayside than to introduce something later (if something comes back in your head that you are dying to try out).

  2. Michelle Proulx
    July 31, 2012

    Go with your gut. And if it doesn’t turn out, delete and rewrite. That’s the beauty of being an author – nothing is set in stone unless you say it is 🙂

  3. Jane Doe
    August 1, 2012

    Thank you, Emma & Michelle. I’ll take your advice and go for it! I’ll admit, I’m scared, but I’ll sit back and see where this thing goes with Carson. What’s the worst that can happen?

  4. littletash
    August 1, 2012

    That’s really tricky. Generally I think it’s pretty cool when characters start making demands on your writing… but generally books aren’t published as they’re written, so it is kind of risky. Still, I think you answered your own question in saying it may do more damage to resist him. Good luck with this one!

    • Jane Doe
      August 1, 2012

      Thanks, Tash. I have to have it ready to be recorded by Sunday, so I’m going to get started today and Carson will have his way. (No pun intended 🙂 ) You nailed my biggest fear since this is a write and podcast experiment, it’s harder to back tract. But like Emma said, it’s a subplot…if this part of the experiment fails, it may be easy to forget. We’ll see what happens!

  5. Pingback: Chapter 5 Pt 2 – Enough For Four « The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

  6. Pingback: Chapter 5, Part 2 – Enough For Four « Enough for Four – The Jane Doe Polyamory Poly Novel Experiment

  7. dbryantsimmons
    August 6, 2012

    I know you’ve already written this but here’s my two cents: Always let the characters lead. If it feels natural in that moment of the story then go with it. Even if it changes the overall arch or plot, that’s okay. Sometimes the story tells itself. It is risky … but you’re not the writing-by-numbers type 🙂

    • Jane Doe
      August 6, 2012

      Thank you for the tip, D. It’s very much appreciated!

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This entry was posted on July 31, 2012 by in Enough for Four - The Process and tagged , , , .

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