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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Whose Book Is It Anyway?

Yesterday was a hugely frustrating day. I spun my wheels until I was ready to scream. Since the scene wasn't working in Creed's POV, I switched back to Maia. This was better--for a little while--but it didn't take long until I was fighting for every word again. Finally, late in the evening, it dawned on me that the problem was that I was trying to force one of my characters to do something he or she wouldn't do.

I've mentioned here before that almost every time I get stuck like this it's because I'm trying to do things my way instead of the way my h/h want to go. They're endlessly aggravating, but they end up being right. That, of course, is even more aggravating because they're always smug. Seriously, I need to have the kind of control over the characters that other authors do. I mean some of them even get to name their hero and heroine! Mine? They tell me what their names are and all the begging and pleading in the world won't get them to change them.

Take Ryne, for example, the heroine from In the Midnight Hour. She told me her name began with an R, but wouldn't give me more than that. I started looking through the girl's sections of my baby name books. None of those R names would work for her. I found a few that seemed almost right, but would she go for one of those? Of course not. I swear I was on like my ninth baby name book when I finally found Ryne and she said, "that's it." You know why only one baby name book had Ryne listed in the girl's section? Because Ryne is predominantly a boy's name. Did that faze her? Nope. She was Ryne, period. No discussion allowed.

Or how about Conor from Through a Crimson Veil. At least his name is normal, but he insisted on spelling it with one N, and up till then, I'd only seen it spelled with two Ns. I figured that was minor since I've had characters who pronounce their names differently than everyone else would say them. Like Mika, Conor's heroine. It's not Mee-ka. She pronounces it Mike-ah. (I found out later, BTW, that Conor is an Irish spelling. I found that very interesting.)

And for a proposal I need to work on after I finish the Book From Hell, I have a heroine named Sasha. Sasha! I don't write heroines called Sasha for heaven's sake! I don't know why I wasted the energy trying to get her to change her mind. It was a futile effort and I will be revising a proposal with a blond-haired heroine who goes by Sasha.

Then there are the characters who take over a complete book. Eternal Nights was supposed to be Stacey and Alex's story, but Wyatt and Kendall showed up and it became their book and Alex and Stacey were relegated to secondary characters again. I had no say in this.

Anyway, back to the Book From Hell. So I reread what I had, figured out that while Creed doesn't waste words, he's not as straightforward as I had him acting in the scene and I cut that part. I also found a place where I cut away from the conversation between him and Maia too quickly and I went back to flesh that out. It seems to be going better, but I won't know for sure until I get this chapter finished.