Wednesday, March 06, 2013

IWSG - When your characters surprise you..

For those of you who have no idea, the purpose of this group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. If you haven't yet, go check yourself in at Alex Cavanaugh's blog.


I remember a few years ago, I read an interview of Stephanie Meyer, in which she said something along the lines of: "I was writing this scene and then my hand just typed 'Jacob, my friend, my son' and I burst out crying. It came out of nowhere and it touched me." Edward said that to Jacob right before the final battle between the Cullens and the Vulturi, remember?

I don't mean that kind of surprises. That kind of surprises is complete bullshit. 

Something John Green said in one of his videos stuck with me. As the creators of our characters, we control what they say and think. We know what will benefit the plot and the characters' growth. But this past week something happened to me that made me reconsider one aspect of this statement. 

I've been doing a lot self-examination lately and, trying to find an answer to a question that has blocked me in a very personal matter, I realized something. Something big. At least to me. 

I am a romantic. 

Wow, I know. Earth-shattering. 

In all seriousness though, if you knew me personally, you'd think that is a complete and utter lie. I'm cynical. I speak my mind, and often do so without regard to the feelings of others. I've always been like this. And people don't get to see other aspects of me because they're too busy denying the stuff that comes out of my mouth. Human hypocresy and all that. And until recently, I was a hypocrite and I didn't realize it

 But... I like me weird that way. Not the hypocrite part. The speak-my-mind part. I have many flaws, but I also know I have many virtues. So why, oh why, is it so difficult for me to be in a relationship? It's not rocket science, is it? (If your answer is "yes, it is" you'd provide me a topic for next month's IWSG.)

I figured it out though. It's because I believe in love, you guys. All the friends I've had on the course of my life (some are still around, others are long gone) had been maybe a little too liberal about whom they shared their affections with, yet I always remained pure. Shut up, it's true. I believe that there's one person out there who would get me, you know? And just because I haven't found him yet, doesn't mean I should settle for less. I swear to you, I'm like historical romance protagonist right here on the 21st century, guys. 

Who in their right mind would classify me as a romantic? No one. Because I never shared those feelings with people. Because I never paid too much attention to those things. I mean, I'm doing it here to illustrate my point (I'll get there in a minute, guys), but it's not the same as advertising it for all my friends and family to understand. Because I'm not interested in making everyone understand. I'm interested on the right someone to understand, and his identity hasn't been revealed to me yet. And now I'm a historical romance/mystery/thriller protagonist. Although it would be preferable if my future husband comes without a crazy ex in the attic. You guys probably think I'm sweet, right? Poor, delusional, virtual friends of mine;)

Huh. This monthly posts have made realize I might actually need therapy. Yay for Support Groups!

But back to the topic. If it happens in real life, why can't it happen in fiction? I've shared this experience of self-awareness with one of my characters. And now I have to go back several chapters back to fix her reactions to everything that has happened to her. Because now I know that she's not ready to be responsible for all the things I dumped on her and thus her reactions were ALL WRONG. I'm not taking those responsabilities back because that's how life works. Sometimes, you get more than you can handle. Yet I want people to understand her. She wants people to understand her. Why she's figuratively running. And I couldn't help her there. I didn't know because she didn't know she wasn't ready. And don't worry, even I am confused about what I just said. But makes a weird kind of sense, you know?

Sometimes, a little introspection takes a lot of courage.

And there was my surprise. It's completely my fault for not listening to her from the beginning. I always question YA heroines when they take everything in stride out of nowhere and I didn't realize my own girl was doing that because I was too involved on fixing other parts of the story. Like figuring out what to dump on this poor seventeen year old girl.

Has something like that happened to any of you?

Oh, and before I forget! Next week, I'm taking a very important test. Like, it-will-determine-the-future-of-my-academic-life important. Wish me luck;)

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