Saturday, November 08, 2008
Okay, I have grown too attached to my characters.
I felt inspired to do some major outlining for the last 3-4 chapters today, so I did. I have probably 10 pages of notes, single-spaced covering just before the final climax of the story through the epilogue. I picked Erich's brain for a while, tossing around ideas for how I could write my characters out of the jam that I had let them get into. I was really stressed because I could see them in the scene and everything around them, but couldn't figure out how they could possibly survive. With his help, I have a good ending that wraps up the story in a great place for the next leg of their stories to begin (aka - book 2).
The saddest part is that in my rigorous outlining, my brain stumbled upon the final sentence of the book. I finished typing the outline and then realized what I had just typed. I quickly re-read the block of text with the last line and had an immediate response... I started crying! I won't give the last line away, Erich won't even let me tell him what it is, he just saw me behind the laptop, fanning my eyes, willing the tears not to fall. I haven't even wrote the full chapters and dialogue leading up to this line and I'm crying. What am I going to do once the book is done?
This isn't even the first time that I've cried over part of an outline. As some people know, I've found myself particularly drawn to one of my characters. Ever since they first appeared in a minor role on an outline, I knew they had to have a bigger part in the story. This led to some major outline revisions to showcase their new role.
Have you ever seen the movie, "The Butterfly Effect"? or maybe the "Back to the Future" movies? Well, I learned really quickly how one tiny change on a story's time line opens a can of worms that changes the later chapters drastically. Over the course of about 5 minutes I decided that I liked this character and wanted to give them a bigger part. I started watching the story re-enfold in my mind, watching the movie re-write itself and play the scenes back to me. Then * BAM * my beloved character was dead. Oh cruel fate! Why them? Why not one of the other characters?
Unfortunately when writing such a character-driven story, once they tell you what happens - there's not much you can do about it. I fought it for a good half an hour, desperate to find some other way for it to play out, but to no avail... it was settled and I had to accept it. This was the first moment that I cried over this book, full-on, tears streaming down my face CRYING.
I guess on the plus side, if I can write up the chapters half as emotionally as the outlines are to me, it could increase my shots of getting published. Now I just have to find a way to tell this story well enough that the average reader will feel as emotionally invested in the characters as I am.
Oh well, wish me luck!