I’ve had a hard time writing my novel for the past couple of days – not because I was not in the mood to write, or because I was procrastinating, but because every time I sat down to write the next chapter, I got off the chair and did something else. Now, that may have sound as procrastination, but I knew that was not the case. I decided to think about it some more. Why did I turned back once I decided to write that next chapter? It puzzled me and annoyed me as well.
Pondering about the issue, I discovered that I was having an issue with one of my characters. Yes, as weird as it sounds, this character had grown strong and had taken over, behaving and reacting differently from what I had planned. Opening that computer file to write meant having a writer’s confrontation with my character. This presented an issue that I disliked to ponder – had I lost control of my novel? Was I being intimidated by one of my characters? I had to ponder about this even when I did not like the idea. I did.
My findings were very interesting. I had to admit that I was wrestling with this character from the beginning of the story, like it or not. The problem is that it is my main character. This issue presented another bigger issue – should I stop writing the novel, should I continue wrestling, or should I listen to this character and give in to it? In this case, is her. Well, I needed to decide, otherwise my story would be frozen indefinitely. I did.
I realized that I had to go back to the beginning of the story and try to understand this character’s reasons. I decided to look for the moment when the writer-character conflict started and understand the why. This is my compromise with her. To some of you, this may seem bizarre and a bit “cuckoo” but it is the compromise I had to do to continue writing the story. I agreed to put my writing aside until I go back to those chapters and realize my issue with it – after all, it is my issue, and not the character’s issue. I created it, and I am having the problem; or is it a challenge? Does that mean that after all, I am in control of the story? Well, I cannot answer that until I find out, and that is another post.