So this morning as I was sipping my morning coffee and reading my overnight emails, one that caught my eye was about an NYT bestselling author telling me that her novel has a new title – same sexy characters!

What happened?

Well, it seems as she writing, the character’s goal (different from the beginning) came through loud and clear to her as she was writing and she realized she needed to change the plot a bit. And it seemed the title.

It got me thinking. When I started writing this latest manuscript, I had an ending in mind, but when I wrote just one line, I set something else underlying in motion. My early preconceived ending went out the proverbial window.

My main character just wants to finish this last task for her deceased client in this suspense. Surrounded by the heirs, she suddenly realizes how alone she’s been. She yearns to be a part of a family like this one – she’s been handing over their mother’s memories to them and observing the dynamics as they try to patch themselves together.  Someone is more than ready to take away everything from her because he feels she wronged him. Now her goal is to stay alive.

It happened when I wrote one scene – just to get my characters away from the lake house and I unintentionally placed the collected group in the viper’s nest – by it wasn’t until I had them walking in the door did I realize what danger I placed a couple of characters in.

The manuscript is still in revision. I climbed into so many heads – sad, hurt, dark and disturbed heads with this book. As a writer, you have to know what your character wants, where they came from, what drives them and you have to listen. Whether they get what they want or not tells you what’s going to happen. Yes, I am the boss of my stories, but a good boss listens.

And with the stroke of a pen or keyboard, makes the final decision…

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2 thoughts on “Oops! The Path Our Characters Takes Us

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