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Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Author Insight: Fictional Fights

What is the worst fight you've ever had with one of your characters?

"I've never fought with one of my characters, because they're all under my control. I personally don't buy that whole 'characters are separate entities from the authors' thing - they're my toys, they do what I say. Even when I do experience those moments of, 'Oh, I didn't know you'd choose that route, Character! That's amazingly infuriating!' I know that's just my unconscious mind spitting out those ideas and making those connections. This is an unromantic view, I know." - Lia Habel, author of Dearly Departed.

"My main character, Felton, won't shut up.  He won't.  I essentially barf words with him.  I'm constantly having to cut, cut, cut, because he wants to talk about everything. (Everything.)" - Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast.

"I used to think it was a little bit precious when authors would talk about their characters taking control of the story and refusing to cooperate and yada yada. You're the author; it's your story. But then, it happened to me. I was working on Enchanted Ivy (my magic-at-Princeton novel), and I needed my protagonist to leave Vineyard Club and cross into the alternate magical Princeton with the were-tiger guy. And she would not leave the room she was in. I wrote the scene. And rewrote the scene. And rewrote it again. But it didn't work, and I couldn't move forward because Lily would not leave the room. It was not consistent with her character to budge.

So I finally had to stick another character into a coma so he'd stop talking to her and she'd leave.

Moral of the story is: don't mess with the author, or she'll put you in a coma." - Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink, Slay, Love.

"Hmm. I don’t think I fight with my characters. When I get stuck, it’s usually because I’m overthinking, trying to plan out what happens next instead of just listening to them. When I get still and quiet and focused and can hear Cate, that’s when it all falls into place." - Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked.

"I often have to tell my characters to get up off their asses and DO SOMETHING! Then I smack them around a bit." - Marianna Baer, author of Frost.

"Never had one.  They know I’ll kill them if they misbehave.
" - Ilsa Bick, author of Ashes.

"I don’t fight with my characters. We have diplomatic conversations." - Angie Frazier, author of The Eternal Sea.

"The ending of Blood on the Bayou, the second in my adult urban fantasy series, was really difficult to write. I was trying to get Annabelle to choose a partner (at least in the short term). I could tell she was ready to make some kind of life choice, but turns out it wasn't solely a man choice. Now I like the ending much better. I'm so glad I kept rewriting until I figured out what was authentic for her character." - Stacey Jay, author of Juliet Immortal.
"Cricket Bell, the hero of my second novel, took an entire decade to nail down. He's very fidgety. We never fought, but it certainly took me a long time to understand him. My understatement of the year would be to call the situation frustrating." - Stephanie Perkins, author of Lola & the Boy Next Door.
"I don’t really fight with them. Sometimes a scene will take a surprising turn, but usually it’s because the story demands it, and that’s a good thing." - Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss.
"Huh. I don't think I have had a fight with a character. My characters pretty much do what I tell them. Maybe that's why I spend so much more time with them than real people." - Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool.
"There’s not one that stand outs. I mostly fight transitions. Being a panster writer, I get stuck in a scene and can’t move on until the right delivery presents itself, which can be days sometimes. Usually, it’s because the character doesn’t talk to me, and then I have to struggle to I try to get them to tell me what’s supposed to happen next. Luckily, that doesn’t happen often. - Brena Pandos, author of The Emerald Talisman.

"What a great question. I needed to make the 'mother' of Sophie, the young heroine of You Are My Only, complex and real, with a believable back story. That meant I could not judge her." - Beth Kephart, author of You are My Only.

Find out Tuesday how the authors balance life and writing!

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