Stories on the edge of familiarity

Drama, Drama Everywhere! Part 1

As far as it’s going, my current WIP has had the most drama of any of my stories to date. One would expect that this is a bad sign, but many would find it very encouraging, if a little exhausting. Let me explain:

My first sign that something was up, something different, occurred while I was happily working on my outline. I had plotted out a rather lovely and twisted course for the story to follow, and I was figuring out a little more about Main Character’s head space. We were going along merrily, reviewing a scene and her emotional reaction with it, and how she has this big secret that she can’t tell, and how an incident has just brought it to the forefront of her thinking (this secret is vital to the plot and must not be revealed until a certain moment in order to facilitate the proper feeling of the world falling apart). During this scene review, I start to write down how Main Character feels as if she wants to spill this secret to the world, but she doesn’t…

Main Character: “Why not tell them?”

Me: “Why not tell them? Because…” *thinks for a moment, realizes there is no good reason yet forbidding this action* “Because you don’t, dammit! Those are the rules!”

Main Character: “But why? It’s not like my life is ruined or anything. I’ll probably even feel better afterwards.”

Me: “But… but…” *watches entire rest of story begin to spiral down the drain* “You can’t! You’re supposed to do this, and this, and this is supposed to happen, and NONE OF IT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU DON’T KEEP QUIET!”

Main Character: “Name one good reason why I shouldn’t.”

Me: “Well… well,,,” *goes through a thorough list of weak reasons that Main Character easily waves away with little puffs of logic.* “But my story… my beautiful story… how am I going to keep it?”

Main Character: “Think harder.”

Me: “Wait… so you’re going to do what I want you to do?”

Main Character: “No. I’m going to do what I want to do. Right now I want to tell the world. If you want to keep my mouth shut, you had better think of a really good reason that will convince me to do so. And you had better think of it soon.”

I knew this was one of those moments where you are supposed to jump up and down and congratulate yourself because your character has finally come truly and beautifully alive, but I was more seriously considering strangling her. Who was she to order me about in such a fashion? She may be amazing and wonderful words on paper, but I am the Author who writes those words. She’s not even real… but if I said that, then I would be name-calling, and she would never work with me again. With restrained fury and a bruised dignity, I began looking back through her history to find some way to silence her.

Then the villain upped and decided to quit…

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