I’ve been struggling this past week with the writing of my current book. I put that fact down to all the interruptions this time of the year brings, but yesterday I finally realised the true reason: I’d taken a wrong turn two pages back, so nothing I’d written since then (and then deleted, rinse and repeat multiple times) was working. And it’s all because I thought I knew best and somehow stopped listening to the character in question (for those who don’t write like this, I understand how strange that might sound).
The annoying thing is that I know better. I do this quite frequently. Take Red Moon Rising – I started it three times. I spent days planning, frustrated beyond words at why it wasn’t quite working. And then I admitted to myself I’d been holding out against one of the characters. My intention had been that it was Bryce who got together with Colby, because (a) that way the plot worked(!), and (b) he was the guy with the experience and emotional intelligence to know what someone coming out of an abusive relationship might need. But ever since he laid eyes on Colby, Tristan had been jumping up and down, practically holding his breath till he turned bright red, in between yelling “Mine! Mine!”. So when I finally decided to try and start the book with the Tristan/Colby pairing, just to show Tristan all the reasons why they wouldn’t work, it flowed and didn’t stop flowing for c45k words.
I guess I should just learn to let the characters get on with it. Even if they end up making terrible mistakes, they’re theirs to make.