Cassy’s Corner—How do Your Stories Emerge?
I apologize for being on a bit of a binge. I’ve been plotting, fussing, worrying about my new book. You’ve read my wanderings over the last few weeks and you know the issues: Is the character BIG enough, are there enough challenges facing her for her arcs to be significant, do you want to keep turning the pages to see what happens next, are her supporting friends and enemies good enough and bad enough, how hard are you rooting for her, do you want to invite her to dinner? The list goes on. Oh, and does she think about having sex in the first 15 pages or do you wait until page 50? These are tough questions.
It sounds so silly to put it in this simple text. But, as I am writing and worrying about my new best friends, I do want them to somehow be like me. NO, not like me but at least understandable to me. So that means a little quirky, a little funny, a little silly but not totally stupid. Maybe that is me and maybe it’s not. But, so be it. I still have to have a long term relationship with them.
Another issue I’ve been thinking through is-- what is the balance between who lives in our stories and what happens in our stories? Do your characters take off and run with the plot? Or, does your plot determine who is going to act it all out? Of course it’s a combination. Yet, there has to be a balance. It’s like driving from Boston to New York. I need to have a bit of a map, but there certainly are many ways to get there.
My current leading lady is fleeing a past life, pregnant and about to start a new adventure. She’s scared and unsure if she can pull it off, yet will try. I don’t know how she’s going to do it. I don’t know yet how many times she’ll skin her knees. But I do know that she and I are having a good time together.
And you? Do your characters drive your stories or do your stories find your characers?