Friday, June 11, 2010

Characterocracies: The Double-edged Sword.

Yes, yes, I know, another writing-related blog entry. We're hoping to go to a bullfight and a battle site tour pretty soon, so there should be some Japanistan pics in the very near future.

In the meantime...

I have mentioned on many occasions that my books are characterocracies. I do outline, but if there's a dispute between the characters and the outline, I defer to the former. Always. Without question. I never try to shoehorn my characters into conforming to an outline, because when I've done so in the past, the end result was nearly always catastrophically failtaculous. If the characters won't cooperate with the outline, chances are there's a reason for it. The chain of events doesn't mesh with the particular character's...well...character. Following that chain of events would require a person to act in ways that make absolutely no sense for him/her, thus rendering my story full of so much failure, I should be shunned and exiled to parts unknown to live out my days wallowing in the shame of putting such failure on paper. Yeah. That bad.

Normally, when my characters start running off with scenes, hijacking my outline, and otherwise taking over, I see this as a good thing. It means they're becoming individuals with fully-formed, three-dimensional personalities, rather than mindless puppets. (If you're not a writer, this probably sounds like madness. If you are a writer, it probably still sounds like madness.)

That said, while I think characterocracies are the bomb diggety, I would greatly appreciate it if the characters of NSFW would...just, you know, once or twice...follow the fucking outline. Is it really necessary to derail every scene and completely alter the story line in every chapter? Really??? Would it kill any of them to do as they're told just once? I know this is a characterocracy, but stop abusing your power, you bastards!


Okay, so it's not really a bad thing that they're doing this. And every time they've hijacked the story line and sent it careening into Elsewhereville, it's worked out for the best. The story is way better than it would have been had I followed the original outline. Or the second outline. Or any of the other incarnations and revisions that have occured along the way, because by the end of every single day so far, I've had a revamped outline. Every. Single. Day. It's only 10:30 am right now, and I've already deleted two scenes and added one. By midnight tonight, I'll probably have an added car chase scene, three of those scenes(tm) that I'd never before thought, a subplot involving stolen staplers, and an alien abduction. And I will most likely have deleted the Titanic flashback, the volcanic eruption, two of those scenes(tm), and a cryptic reference to Simon Cowell.

Anyway. I like NSFW so far. I'm having a ball writing it, actually. Even more so than I usually do. The cast of characters is larger than usual, and they're a lot of fun. But let me tell you, I might as well be writing it sans outline with as much as they're cooperating, and that, my loyal blog minions, is a terrifying thought. *shudder*

I shall now console myself with an image of Robert Downey Jr clad only in a sheet, and get back to work.

Now back to work...

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