Noisy Characters and Other Writing Challenges

Noisy Characters -

A few years ago, a member of my writers group made a comment about how another writer in the group talked about his characters as if they were real people. He said it like it was a strange thing. To my thinking, the characters in books are real. Maybe not flesh and blood, but they still live.

I suspect many readers feel the same way about characters they read about. I mean…surely Darcy and Elizabeth are real! However, what might be strange for a non-writer to learn is that more often than not, characters write their own stories. Sure, I start off as the leader, creating and putting them in some sort of conflict. But once placed, the characters often take over, telling their stories without too much help from me.

I just finished and submitted book two, Southern Persuasion, of the Southern Heat Series for Penner Publishing. I have a third book, Southern Conflict, due by July 1, which is plenty of time. So much time, that my goal was to finish a cozy mystery first. There is a problem, though. The characters in Southern Conflict won’t be quiet. They’re chattering away when I sleep, drive, run…etc.

This is actually a good thing, because it’s so much easier to write when characters are essentially dictating what they want to say and do. But it definitely makes it hard to write the cozy I had planned (why aren’t those characters making noise?).

You’ll be glad to hear the Valentine’s are making themselves known as well, although not on the next book I have planned for them. Instead, Jack is in Washington, D.C. and unable to get a hold of Tess by phone or text. Something has happened at her boutique. I don’t know what, but poor Jack is beside himself.

So what’s a writer to do? Because writers block is a real thing, the safe action is to write down the story that is running in my mind, which means Southern Conflict has made it to the top of the writing list. I hope to have a draft down by the end of the month or mid-Feb so I can work on my cozy. However, I have been reading my cozy at writer’s group, so I hope to get a few thousands words written on each week. The Valentines have to wait…but not for too long. They’ll be up in April or May, assuming the characters of Southern Conflict keep talking and I’m able to get their story down, revised and edited by then.


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