My Story vs. the MC’s Story
It’s a common joke among writers (well, at least the ones I know!) that oftentimes the story writes itself. We have no idea where the story is going, and the characters just sort of take over. It’s like they have a mind of their own. I think they should go one direction, but they tell me to go a different direction.
If I’m smart, I listen to the characters.
In today’s chapters, the undergirding mystery gets teased out some more. We’ll eventually get back to the one-and-done plot that opened the novel; right now the characters are starting to realize there’s more at stake.
But not all the MC’s believe the ‘mystery thing.’ (I have four main characters, btw – Kelli & Jo are primary, but Ben and Dex are strong support characters.) One is a downright sceptic, the other two are on the fence, and one is taking it to heart and is really shook up about the whole thing.
I had no idea which character would emerge with what attitude. They just presented themselves and I said okay. Dex is this, Ben is that; Jo feels this way, Kelli feels that way. The MCs run the show.
Now sometimes, the characters want to act out-of-character. When that happens, I have to figure out why and make sure the reader doesn’t get thrown for a loop. So, I do have a job to do! These stories won’t write themselves, unfortunately. But I do get to ‘channel’ a bit. Don’t take that the weird way. I just mean that creativity is a mystery. I don’t believe in literal muses…I tell Calliope this all the time. (grin)
Now my reoccurring semi-antagonist Donovan Huckly is a fun character to explore. I never know what he'll do. Even the MCs don’t know if he’s intentionally mean or just clueless. He does take his job as “Inspector General” much too seriously.
But he does have a soft spot. I got a hint of that at the end of Secret Spice. Turns out that Donovan is a book lover. This will come in handy, because the bookstore that Jo is setting up will need some help and I think I know who will come through in the end so that they can be ready in time for their Grand Opening.
I could be wrong, however. Donovan has a mind of his own and he may surprise me. After all, who do I think I am, the writer? Ha!
Today's Writing Tip…
Let the characters’ personalities develop and guide the story so that they stay within character (readers’ expectations as to who they should act). If they step out of character, make sure it’s plausible.
Progress: Writing Secrets & Scents...
Introduction – Part 2: The Missing Novel
Day 1 - 3100 (Chps 1 & 2) - Total: 3,100 words
Day 2 - 3300 (Chps 3 & 4) - Total: 6,400 words
Here's a placeholder image for Secrets & Scents - A Kelli & Jo Candle Shop Mystery by yours truly. I'll be launching a Kickstarter Campaign in September, 2022, for cozy mystery fans to acquire their exclusive pre-release edition of my latest novel with a brand new, professionally designed cover. Watch for details.
In the meantime, if you become a Patreon Subscriber, you'll be able to read Secrets & Scents as I write it! New chapters of my WIP every week, plus a backlist novel a month and bonus short stories exclusive to patrons.