Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writing a Difficult Perspective

So, I've been struggling for the last several weeks with one perspective in particular.  He's a vague little creature that doesn't like to cooperate with me as I'm trying to write his scenes and it's rather frustrating.  I have no idea how other authors handle difficult characters, but I've tried various methods with little results.

First I tried to sit down and write.  Yeah, that didn't work too well.  I ended up staring at a blinking cursor for thirty minutes before admitting defeat and escaping to the internet.

Then I tried re-reading the entire manuscript.  I thought if I had my brain in the mindset of the novel, you know, immerse myself in the scenes and characters and overall feel, just maybe something would come.  Instead, I ended up editing and re-writing other sections of the novel.  Those needed to be done, but that didn't help with the actual dilemma I was facing.

Next came writing down on paper what exactly I needed to have happen in this chapter.  You would think that would have been the first thing I'd tried, but my brain isn't normal.  So, yeah.  I managed to figure out what I wanted to have happen, but the character was remaining elusive and non-cooperative.

So, I went to my co-author and Muse next.  We batted around ideas and laid out how the chapter should flow.  He even gave me some great ideas that I wanted to make sure to incorporate into the chapter.  Real productive, right?  Nope, the darn character still wouldn't talk to me.

Finally, I sat down and just started writing crap.  Jumbled up chaos that incorporated some of the key points I wanted to get across in the chapter.  I needed something to happen... it had already been a month by this time and nothing to show for it.  Once I had written a few pages, I handed it over to the Muse and co-author and let him tear into it.  And believe me, the measly three pages I'd written were BLEEDING by the time he was done.

That's okay, though.  This morning, at the ungodly hour of 5, I finally managed to get into a groove of sorts and got the mess I'd written straightened out.  And I'm happy to report that the three pages have become four and I'm well on my way to getting this chapter written... FINALLY!  The character is still being stubborn, but I've got his number now and I'm not letting up until I get this darn chapter written!

I know I can't be the only author with non-cooperative, stubborn characters.  Any writer willing to admit it will tell you that it's really the characters that write these amazing novels... we're just the vehicle that gets the words out on paper or typed onto the screen.  So, when a character doesn't want to talk, it's the hardest thing to try and force them to in order to keep up with deadlines, whether the deadlines are self-imposed or put into place by an editor or some other outside entity.  My deadlines tend to be self-imposed, thank god, or I'd probably go insane.  I don't do well under pressure and my mind goes completely blank if I'm told I have to have something written by a certain date.

Anyway, this has been my plight for the last several weeks.  But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully I can get this chapter done today.  Then I'll just have a few more chapters to go and Vagar will be done and ready for the final editing process.  Woohoo!  So, I'm off to write some more and hopefully I won't have to resort to anything drastic to get this character to cooperate so I can finish this thing!

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