Thursday, October 16, 2014

When Characters Fight Their Inevitable Destinies (Can't Coax my Climax to Come!)

Hi everyone! I sincerely apologize for not posting in the last few days of forever. It's been a pretty mad few weeks, complete with college essays, surprised Saturday activities, strange bouts of random weepiness (over songs, or all things) and becoming fascinated with the NaNoWriMo forums. I also apologize for the alliteration in my subtitle.
I saw an opportunity. I took it.

I planned on keeping you all updated on my recent NaNo ventures, and so I will!

To complete my current rough draft/work in progress/diamond in the very ugly, dirty, horrifying rough, all I really have to do is write the climax. My usual word count is 500 per day (loosely adhered to). I decided for NaNo, that would not cut the proverbial mustard.
My new goal is 1000 words per day, which is really not that bad.
Until.
1000 words a day + right near climax + knowing exactly how my story was going to end = writer's dream come true, right?
Maybe I would even have two whole weeks before NaNo just to plan my new book and watch endless Netflix!
Alas. So close, but still so far.

My characters have learned a new trick to keep me from writing.
My climax, in this story, is a massive battle.
They are avoiding the climax.
How? And why?
Well, one of my characters fell off a cliff.
Don't even ask. I don't know how it happened, or why, but the next thing I knew there she was! Plummeting towards the ground at an alarming rate.
My other lead decided he wanted to go see his family. And then, of course, get majorly sidetracked.
I had a minor side character who walked in one day and said," Hello. I know you planned on killing me off. But first, let me tell you my long and glorious backstory that will make you fall even more in love with me and almost consider sparing my life."
He was all to effective.
Yet another character, destined to appear at the END of the book, showed up. I tried to tell her it was not her cue, but she ignored me and is currently making things beyond difficult for my poor main characters.

So yes. Things are getting majorly complicated. Subplots are emerging, subplots that I was supposed to add in the second draft. The story I feared would first draft at 20,000 words is looking more like it might clock 30,000, with the promise of becoming much, much longer in future revisions.

These are my characters, yes. But they truly do what they like.
Why do I put up with this? I ask myself daily. Why not just embrace my power and send a lightning bolt to strike them all brain-dead, making them effective slaves to my will?

Because they make my story better.
Yes, in a first draft, these things are bothersome. Yes, sometimes I would like to just transport them all to the scene of my climax and make this junk happen already. Sadly, I cannot, as this is not a sci-fi story.
This is a first draft. This is where the unexpected things come up. This is where I roll with it.
My characters are running from their coming, immanent doom happy ending?
Let them run.