“Of course, until we look in the mirror. What do you think Patricia will do with this title?” Edna asked.
“I have no idea, but imagine she’ll surprise us. Now that’s a good laugh. Isn’t imagine almost like pretending?”
How long has it been since you did a “pretend” with your characters? Never? Oh, be honest.
Every time we sit down at our computer, we make up characters for our new novel. We give them our thoughts and our ideas. We pretend we are our characters, get inside their minds, and use them any way we want.
Then, when you are in the most important scene in the book, your fingers do not hit the keys you want. They have a mind of their own, and your character or characters rebel.
Have you ever started a lengthy section of dialog and found the words you wanted to say came back scrabbled. Your characters wanted to speak in their own way, not pretending to be an extension of the writer.
How often have you, the writer, overpowered your characters and not let them have a say. What if you, the writer, kept your thoughts to yourself and gave free roaming positions to your characters. Let’s try:
Visualize a wedding. The groom is at the altar and the bride is walking down the aisle toward him. The church is packed with family, friends,and guests. This could be a dialog between the attendees:
“Look at him. He’s been after this beauty for a long time. Now he is a happy groom.”
“Wait until he sees the other side of her. She can be a bitch.”
“I’m so lucky . Now, we’ll have beautiful grandchildren.”
As the bride moves forward, she stops. The music stops. The church is silent.
“I will not marry you. I will not be controlled. I will not have your children. I will not be smothered.” She turns around and walks in small , slow steps, and out the door.
This is when your character takes control and dictates the movement of the story. Sometimes, we think we have the beginning, the middle, and the end all wrapped up and tied in a neat bow. But, what happens when our characters are not happy and make a stand for themselves.
This is an opportunity for you to go back and look over your story, scene by scene. Who is in control? You pretending to be your characters and shape them YOUR way, or your characters loving their new-found freedom?
We’ll check out more of this pretending osmosis and see what else can happen. Until then . . .