Thursday, March 30, 2017

Losing Control

I started my latest novel knowing the details of the opening scene and the closing chapter, and without a lot of meat for the middle. This is not an unusual situation for me to be in, being a died-in-the-wool pantser. I often write by the seat of my well-worn trousers. I began with the idea of two characters and a slender thread of a plot to get me through to the end. I thought I knew who was the main character. The one who the action would center around.

I started writing this epic.

Wouldn’t you know it, the beast began to change and I was helpless to stop it.

Number two character is now number one, and the other is in danger of fading away into the background. I must take immediate action to prevent his disappearance!

Not only that, but other more interesting minor characters are demanding additional stage presence. They may be right. People who could only expect a walk-on part are now anticipating acting in whole chapters.

I hope the project will be better for the interest the thespians are displaying.

As the author, I sometimes feel more like the conductor of an unruly orchestra, with everyone demanding a solo. It gets noisy around here sometimes, at least inside my head.

I suppose I could avoid a situation like this by calmly plotting out the story in great detail and fixing the structure in cement before I start. But where would the fun be in that?
The director is in serious danger of losing control of the script!

I often say I write to discover how the story ends. In this case, I’m writing to uncover the path they took to get there, and who is acting as the guide in all this organized confusion.


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 7 with #8 due out April 4th)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge