In my experience, that’s pretty common. No one else except another writer can understand fully.
But that’s all right. Because I can still share my stories with the world.
When people ask me how I decide what to write about, or how a particular story goes, it boils down to this:
My characters tell me more often than I decide.
Sometimes it can be a battle, because I want them to do something, they insist on another. Sometimes I write, and they say/do something and I say aloud, “What?” “Really?” or even, “No freaking way. You can’t.” (usually they end up being right)
I am a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t plot. I just sit down and write and hope the words flow.
Sometimes they do.
Sometimes I struggle.
But so far, if I listen to them, they let me know what the story will be.
Promise I’m not crazy!
When I’ve tried to plot, I haven’t been all that successful. I made decisions and when the story changed, I didn’t deal with the change in my structure.
It just stressed me out. So I had to convince myself the way I have been doing things, my process, isn’t wrong. That every writer is different. And that’s OKAY!
Whatever works to get the words on the page is the correct way.
I guess that’s what I would tell other writers: Don’t mess with what’s not broken.
You know how I said my characters talk to me? Well, sometimes they can be difficult. As in…they won’t/don’t SHUT UP! Or give me peace of any kind.
One in particular, Cole, the hero of Collision Force (Crossing Forces Book One) feels as if he should be the center of my universe. When I was writing the book, he haunted my dreams. But I figured I would get relief when I was done with the book. Not so much. I KEPT dreaming about him, and his heroine, Andi.
Cole is one of those characters that NEVER goes away for me, no matter what project I’m working on. I guess when he introduced himself to me all those years ago, he forgot to mention that I have him for life. I am pretty sure every writer has one (maybe more) that won’t go away.
The good thing is that book four, Collision Control, that just released 10/3/14 from Totally Bound Publishing, is about Cole’s partner, Jared Manning. So Cole gave me peace since he’s on-page so much in the book, and I was allowed to focus on Jared and his very sweet kindergarten teacher heroine, Mel.
I LOVE these two together, even though they are so different. (or perhaps that’s why I like them so much) He’s a playboy (not unlike his partner pre-Andi) and she’s a kindergarten teacher who has only had only had one boyfriend.
I liked the push and pull with the two of them. I liked watching Jared have to work for the woman he wanted when he was so used to having other women fall at his feet. It was fun to see him get rejected. Humbled him, changed him for the better.
That’s why we love romance, isn’t it? To see them change, work for love, that HAPPILY EVER AFTER we all crave—in books and real life.
Makes it all that sweeter when it happens for real, doesn’t it?
So, I guess I need to thank my characters for talking to me. Here’s to them NEVER going away!
Title: Collision Control by C.A. Szarek
Crossing Forces Series Book Four
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Length: Super Novel/Word Count: 71579
This is book four in the Crossing Forces series, see the full series listing here
A one-night stand can’t possibly mean forever…
Detective Jared Manning met his match at a bar. After a night of passion, she sneaks out of his bed without so much as a note. Problem is, now he can’t find her.
Kindergarten teacher Melody Nash doesn’t do one-night stands. Embarrassment gets the best of her and she lies about her name.
When they collide at her school, Mel resists his pull. She won’t risk her heart on the obvious playboy, even though she can’t stop thinking about the night in his arms.
Stress engulfs both Jared’s personal and professional life. His brother is at the centre of the joint case he and his partner are working in cooperation with FBI. He puts his job on the line when he fails to share his blood relation—a complication he doesn’t need, considering the FBI agent on the case is convinced his brother killed her fiancé.
Balance is the name of the game. Can Jared save his brother and convince Mel they’re meant to be together?
Reader advisory: This book contains references to past childhood sexual abuse and rape.
Purchase Link: Totally Bound
C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She is married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
She works with kids when she’s not writing.
She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world.