After a heavy session of writing today I finally crossed the first milestone in the creation of my second manuscript: I passed the 20,000 word mark. That might not seem like much to some of you but it’s quite a lot for me. I can still remember writing the first word of the first book, so to think I’ve come this far is quite surprising sometimes.
When I started this book I had a relatively clear sequence of events planned out in my head that would lead from beginning to end (I wrote the end first so that probably helped.) but as they did constantly throughout the first book my characters have pretty much cannibalised most of what i wanted to do: Where i would’ve said “Turn right.” they said “Turn left.” So even now after just the first 20,000 words i have a part of a story that is almost unrecognisable from how I thought it’d look.
That can be good though I suppose – It helped in the first book, some of the best stuff in RISING came when the characters hijacked the story and did whatever the hell it was they wanted to do!
I’m definitely happy my characters are so willing to take charge like that actually. they could just be lazy and do whatever i tell them to but the fact they are semi autonomous yet fictional beings has made this process much easier: Sometimes! I would like to know where they’re going sometimes and they better not mess with my already completed ending because I quite like it. But with another 140,000ish words to go I suppose anything can happen. Stay tuned!
I sat down in front of my computer 4 hours ago and started writing with the intention of working on Chapter 21 which I had started last weekend, I not only worked on it but actually finished it (It really is amazing how much you can write when you don’t allow interruptions.) but the finished product is not at all what i imagined – I had a nice albeit flexible plan in mind for the chapter, that is where I wanted it to go, what characters were involved etc. and for the most part that worked out fine for about 1\3 of the chapter.
At that point my characters essentially “mutinied” on me. I don’t know what else to call it except a mutiny because it was as if they came to life and forced me to type a completely different chapter than the one I had planned which included bringing in two characters who were not scheduled for an appearance for a while not only did they appear ahead of schedule but they’ve increased the importance of another character who was only ever designed as a sort of ‘background’ type character now it seems she is going to be far more important than even I ever imagined. I suppose my current characters like her more than I thought they would (Silly me for thinking I was in control here right?).
The characters have hijacked scenes and story lines before but they have never taken an entire chapter and turned it into something else entirely, now because of events in that chapter certain earlier things are going to have to be rewritten partially or maybe even changed completely but I’ll worry about that during the red-write\editing phase which is getting closer every day which both excites and terrifies me!
I don’t mind when my characters “take control” it does add a certain element to the process that is missing otherwise and I think it made the chapter better than it was going to be but still a little notice would have been nice.
Thanks for reading.