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Ramblings: When Characters Talk Back & Writer’s Block

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Happy Thursday! Another week is almost finished.

This week has been a slow go writing. I got to a point where I got stuck writing the rough draft for Rebel. No matter what I did I couldn’t figure my way forward. So I sat back and started writing out a synopsis of the story. I figured the synopsis would be a road map and I’d be able to find out where I veered away from the plot.

Fortunate for me, my critique partner contacted me about another project (one of hers) and I shared with her what I was doing. We chatted about my dilemma. I’m introducing a new character to the Alliance Chronicles.┬áRihana Fakhoury and her family will be introduced in the prequel novella, Release. She’s a strong young lady and becomes a pivotal person in young Asher Jones’ life.

Well Rihana was demanding more of a role in the story. The relationship between Ko and Asher wasn’t panning out. My characters started fighting on paper. She was mad at him and he was distancing himself from her. My CP pointed out that the characters were trying to tell me something.

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And so I listened to them. When I did that the block vanished. First, I rewrote the last three chapters of the novella (utilizing the feedback received from my CP) and I added a new chapter. Rihana got her voice! With that forward movement I was able to tackle the problem in Rebel. I’m on Asher’s wavelength now (this book will be told from the dual POV of Tru and Asher). I know why Ko is upset (it’s justified) and I know why Asher seems distant (it’s valid).

Lessons here? We all hear and read about writer’s block but does it really exist? A lot of writers say a resounding yes. They are paralyzed by something and the words just won’t come. I used to be a part of that school. My block lasted years. Over the past year, fortunately, I’ve learned a little something about blocks. A lot of times it’s simply that you’ve taken a wrong turn. Maybe your plot is full of holes. Maybe you’ve steered away from a plot and introduced elements that weren’t planned. Or maybe, like what happened to me, you’ve planned one thing and your characters (because you’re writing a character driven plot) want something else. Sometimes you just need to listen to what they’re saying and then you can continue.

Thanks Allyson for being the voice of my characters when I needed to hear it!

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