When Characters Revolt

Kind of like “When Animals Attack,” but different. when-animals-attack-with-lightsabers

All right. Attempting no spoilers here, but I want you to be on the look-out for something as you read Waxing Moon.

I know everyone’s writing process is different, but here’s mine. I start the book knowing the general plot–the beginning, some of the points in the middle, and where it needs to end. And I know the arc of character development that happens through the story.

But I don’t always know exactly how everything moves from point A to point J to point Z.

While writing Waxing Moon, I experienced a moment when one of my characters did something utterly unanticipated. I don’t think telling you who will be a spoiler. Eliza. My Eliza–character born from my own head and heart–all of a sudden did something that left me in shock, even as my fingers flew over the keyboard. I was writing and at the same time thinking, “OMG, did she really do that? Holy crap, that’s what she’s doing? What does this mean? What happens now? How does this change everything?”

When I caught my breath, I sat back and saw it clearly. Of course that’s what Eliza would do. She made the only possible choice. She did exactly what she would do. And yet….and yet until I wrote it, I hadn’t realized that’s what needed to happen. I hadn’t realized that’s what her character demanded.

Her choice makes all the difference in the book. And I love that she wrote herself in those moments.

There’s nothing better than the moment you realize your characters are, in a sense, alive with their own demands, needs, and constraints.

Okay. So now when you read Waxing Moon, you’ll have to tell me (in private, no spoilers!) which moment you think Eliza surprised me!


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