Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm Actually Getting Good at This Stuff

  Well... Nanowrimo's over... and I'm still a failure. 

   I didn't reach my original 50,000 word goal, but you know what, life just gets in the way sometimes and I can't help that. The good news is, unlike last year, I've actually got a story developing that I like... a lot... and it's realistic fiction, which is very very very unlike me. I usually hate writing anything other than fantasy/ dystopia/ science fiction/ anything that basically could happen in real life, though I do enjoy reading some realistic stuff, I just don't like writing it myself. Except for this one book.

   To make a long story short, I was so excited about this story I was telling the basic plot line about it to my friends at school. Not spoiling too much, at one point in my story, Piper, the main character is very conflicted and needs to go to someone for help. Instead of going to Rylin (the person who she's been leaning on for everything through the entire novel) she goes to a guy named Shaft who drinks and smokes and the only reason she likes him is because he gives "good" advice. She ends up accepting drugs from him and basically just screws herself up.

  While I was explaining this to my friends I frustratedly groaned and said, "But she just had to go to Shaft, when Rylin was right there!"

   One of my friends started laughing, but I didn't get the joke. I was explaining the annoying lives of my characters. This was not a laughing matter! He just shook his head and said, "Giselle, I find it funny that your the one writing the book, yet your the one who gets angry at your characters."

   And then I had a realization. Some very respected authors will tell you they are not the creators of their world, but their characters are. For instance, in Stephanie Meyer's book, The Host, *spoiler alert* she said she never intended Ian to develop a relationship with Wanda, but Jared wouldn't stop being a jerk and Ian wouldn't shut up. 

  I think that kind of mindset is what all writers want, not to be frustrated with your characters, but to know them so well you know what kind of mistakes they'll make, and that's when they become real.

  The thought made me chuckle because I hadn't though about that before my friend brought it up, and I realized that hey, I'm actually getting good at this stuff.