Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Real Than Real

I’m just about done editing my new/old novel. Okay, “done editing” isn’t accurate. I’ll edit at least once more before I start querying it. And I’ll do a read-aloud of the whole novel. (Nothing beats reading aloud to find missing prepositions, incorrect subject-verb agreement—all those pesky things that crop up when you edit the text.)

But I’m not at the read-aloud stage yet. I have to finish this edit, and I’m stuck on the third to the last chapter.  It’s the beginning of the climax. To the reader, it reads as a climax, but it’s a faux climax that sets the reader up for the real climax. This would be great...except I can’t make it flow. I’ve got all the little plots points worked out in the text. And they fit. The problem is the transitions. And my main character isn’t cooperating. Maybe it’s because I’ve put her in a horrible situation and she’s angry at me. But she’s behaving like an actress who’s flubbing her lines on purpose because she doesn’t like what the writer has written. Either that or she wants more money. Is there a Main Characters’ Union somewhere? Maybe this is like a “blue flu” strike. Clearly, the two of us are going to have to have a sit down and hash this out. Have any of you other writers had a character do this to you, just when the end is in sight?

Yeah, I know I take my characters too seriously.  But they are like real people, sometimes more real.


  1. Yep... Eventually I managed to get my characters to make it go away.

    I have no idea if you have done this yet, but have you checked if you let your characters act "in character"?

    I find that my flow gets shot to hell if I make them think and react out of character.

    Good luck!


  2. Dearest Connie, is it time for us to be worried about you?

  3. I think if you create a Dental Policy and add a few more off days every year they'll comply. Trust me.

  4. David,

    Great idea. I promised her dental coverage, two weeks at Christmas, and a minor rewrite. She's back on the job! Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. LOL! No,I haven't had it happen near the end, but then I've only made to the end once out of, oh, say, 3 novel attempts...but trust me, I know all about character strike. I remember you telling me to ask my character some pertinent questions I was struggling w/ and voila! worked like a charm. Definitely have a sitdown :-)

  6. Yikes! I hate it when this happens and when characters throw hissy fits! I mean, really? After everything we've been through?!

    On a more serious note, maybe take a break for a bit - do something mindless and let the problems stew on the back burner. Then come back to it with fresh eyes or at least a rested mind. :) Good luck!

  7. I can't believe you read the whole thing out loud! And your protag needs a slap. Tell her to simmer down! Oh, I'm finished celebrating. Out of sheer exhaustion!