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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Troublesome Characters and Chapters

So I am just under half way through writing the first draft of Elemental Killers #2 and yesterday I got to one of the chapters I have been dreading to write since the planning stages. You know, the ones you can't skip as they have all the tiny detail that link the plot together? The ones that normally involve a lot of thought while writing? Well that's what I had to force myself to write yesterday.

While in the planning stages I even dreaded it, skimming over the vague outline of what would happen but not figuring anything out. That probably didn't help my situation when I woke up to find myself faced with this awkward chapter that would tax my brain for 15 hours but I couldn't do anything about it at that point. I was going to have to write it at some point and there was no denying that, even if I wanted to.

Putting it off was not an option as for one I was dying to write the chapter after it and secondly I've promised myself I will do 3000 words minimum everyday so I can finish the first draft by April 30th at the latest so it is out the way before my revision starts. 

I must admit that as much as I tried to write the words just wouldn't come so I did stare at a black computer screen for a few hours and only wrote 30 words (including the chapter heading) in four hours. I thought of everything to avoid it. Suddenly I had the urge to clean my room, go for a run or bake something - stuff I generally hate doing - just to put it off but the thought of "I should be writing right now" kept nagging me.

It took about seven hours before I made some progress finally. It may have only been 400 words but my page no longer looked so depressing. However I then noticed a film was on T.V so getting distracted once again I put my laptop down and didn't pick it up again until 9pm. Normally I don't write so late as I find it a struggle to switch off and sleep after it, but I was determined not to let the chapter beat me.

Struggling through for about an hour I forced myself to continue writing, even if it didn't make sense. I could go back and edit it later but I needed to have something there to edit first so after about an hour and a half I finally got into the swing of things and it started to flow more easily. In the end I ended up going 2000 words over my target and it only ended up taking 3 hours to write (that's if you exclude all the time I spent staring and trying to mentally prepare myself to write it).

Anyway I think I've learnt my lesson that it's better to plan bits properly and just to suck it up and get on with it... well maybe until next time.

Sadly though this isn't the only problem I've been having during the first half of the novel. Recently one of my new characters has been playing up immensely. He just won't do as he's told! 

Before I begin writing a book I create a chapter by chapter plan with the general idea of what is going to happen in each scene, who's going to be feeling what and reactions etc. However this new guy (I won't name names, he'll know who he is) refuses to stick to the plan I have written. I keep finding myself ending chapters in different ways to what I have originally planned or people not reacting how they are meant to because he does something different.

There's one scene where I planned for Rea to get angry at him for something. Turns out he can talk himself out of most situations and they ended up laughing and joking together. This isn't necessarily a bad thing while writing but when I come to start the next chapter after a nights sleep it can be a challenge when my plan doesn't link up with the previous event.

I find myself mentally screaming at this new guy sometimes, wondering why I am making him do some of the things I am. I don't know, maybe I'm being too harsh on him and should cut him some slack. I mean, he is new and I haven't learnt everything about him yet or developed him as much as the others but he does frustrate me to the ends of the Earth, especially when I'm struggling with a chapter - like the one previously mentioned - and he decides to act up.

Oh well better get back to the next chapter, I'm no where near my target for today!


  1. Sounds like you had a rough go.. I found that sometimes its harder to get started than anything else.

    I love that your character is taking a life of his own! Sounds like quite the rascal!! :)

  2. Yeah I have the same thing, it takes me at least 30mins before I get into the flow of things but after that point I'm fine normally. There's always the odd chapter I find harder than the rest, luckily that is the only one I've had the feeling about in the entire book :)

    He is! And as much as he causes me trouble he is fun to write about :)


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