Friday, 28 August 2009

Clear As Mud

We write the posts, and when we enable post titles, we choose the post titles. When we enable post pages and post titles, the URLs of the posts are a function of the dates, and the titles, of the posts.

I'm sure the paragraph above, lifted from The Real Blogger Status , makes perfect sense to the more technical-minded among us, but to me it's about as clear as mud!

About as clear as the 3,000 word crime story I've been struggling to edit. The plot has posed no problem and neither have the clues or the resolution. But I've got myself in a right (write!) tizz over my characters.

'on set' are:
2 policemen - 1 a Detective Constable and the other a Detective Inspector
1 Medical examiner
1 dead guy
1 dead guy's wife

Then there're others 'off set' that play a big part in the crime but don't need to be present. Well, one of them, Dickie The Diamond, can't because he's doing a long stretch for armed robbery.

The Medical Examiner has a minor role, the dead guy well he just lies there with a knife sticking out of his throat. His wife is there purely to bounce the clues off.
No, it all got complicated when I realised my DI had taken on the lead role when I wanted his DC to be the main man. I'm all for the under-dog coming good, aren't you?

So I did a mass edit, giving my DC all the best lines and turning my DI into a bit of a misogynistic swine - he lacks a drink problem and an aged sports car as I thought that too stereotyped.

By the way, I typed 'sports scar' just then. Was it a typo? Or is my character taking over as I believe him to be doing? Maybe he went to a private school and sustained it playing rugby? Or did he have a cow-bag of a House Mistress who beat him on a regular basis with a copy of DeBretts, hence his hatred of women? See what I mean? He wont stay in the background.

So, this is what I've decided. I'll write the story giving my DC the lead role...I like him, he's blond, kind of scruffy (but def not whiffy!)with a penchant for Smarties and then I'll give my DI a whole new story to himself.

Clear as mud?

PS I just re-read this post and realise what a complete nutter I must seem. hey-ho!


Julie P said...

I've heard that it's a very good sign when your characters start taking over your writing! A good sign of what I haven't yet figured out! Of madness? Or of an excellent imagination?!

Julie xx

Melissa Marsh said...

I love it when my characters take over. It's an amazing process. Wish it would happen a bit more often, though. :-)

Sue Houghton said...

I've heard of one author who got so wrapped up in the main character of one of her books she felt disappointed when her birthday came around and she didnt get a card from him! Now that's seriously weird ;0)

A friend of mine, stuck on a plot line muttered under her breath 'Come on, what are you going to do next'. She swears she heard her character came back with 'How should I know, you're the writer.'

Olivia Ryan said...

I laughed out loud at this, Sue - and especially about your friend who had the conversation with her character! I think we all know how it feels to have a plot change course dramatically because a character refuses to go the way we planned. I had to change, mid-novel, which man one of my heroines was going to end up with because she really didn't WANT to go back to her husband as I intended! When I submitted the completed novel, my editor said 'Oh, I'm so glad she didn't end up with her husband! It just wouldn't have worked!' Characters know best.