Misbehaving Characters

As a parent, one of our jobs is to lead and guide our children safely from childhood to adulthood. In addition to all the love and support we give them, occasionally they may need a swift pop to their little bottoms or time out or maybe even grounding for the older ones. And then sometimes, no matter how hard we try, they just won’t do what we want them to do.

Writers face the same problem with their characters. Sometimes our little loves just want to misbehave. They refuse to do what we ask them to do. They go off in a different direction than what we intended. But the difference between parenting a child and parenting a character is sometimes us writers have to let them go. Let them do what they want, go where they want, say what they want. It makes for a much better story if the characters have control. You’re just the vehicle they’re using to tell their story.

While writing “Wink of an Eye”, I ran into a situation where Gypsy (of course, the troublemaker) wasn’t doing what I wanted him to do. The scene was supposed to be super sexy hot (because he’s that kind of guy!) but it kept coming out funny…laugh out loud funny. I rewrote, deleted, rewrote, deleted, etc…until I was ready to send him straight to time out. With no supper. And no Ipad. And then a friend in my critique group (thanks Robin!) said something very profound. She said the woman in the scene with Gypsy, Sophia, wasn’t his Kathleen Turner Body Heat lover. Claire was. And Gypsy knew it all along. I just wouldn’t listen to him. So he has a really hot sexy scene with Claire, and a laugh out loud sexy scene with Sophia. He’s such a bad boy.

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