Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How Did They Know?

Okay, we authors are always talking about how our characters take over, or how they tell us something and all of a sudden things just make sense.

Well, aside from revisions and edits to two finished WIPs, I am in the middle of writing a story that involves shifters. Shifters that I have thought were wolves this entire time. Some of y'all will remember a certain flash-fiction that I did that started the whole Alpha shifter story that includes a pretty hot menage. (No, that's not in the flash-fiction, but it's hinted at.) Anyway... I sort of hit a spot that just sat there... and sat there... and went stagnant. I couldn't figure out why I was so unable to continue and why the characters seemed to be so uncooperative. Now, I've heard some authors say that there is no such thing as the characters taking over, or telling you what to write; that it's all the subconscious. Umm... even if it is, it explains the voices that demand to be heard. Leave me my illusions please.

So, here I am turning on my computer and staring at the blinking cursor wondering why I can't get the words to come. Why aren't their characteristics and behaviors easier for me to get down? Yeah, the little buggers were letting me stew... the alpha very quietly harrumphed (with his Irish accent) and informed me that perhaps the reason I couldn't get them down was because I had the wrong species of shifter down. "We aren't dogs, m'dear. We're cats." Well... excuuuuuuuuse me, but to my knowledge there weren't big cats in Ireland, so how the hell was I gonna explain that one? He just smiled and wandered off to torment his queen.

Today, I figured, "Hey, I'll just see if there is anything to this whole big cats in Ireland thing." and plugged it into that handy-dandy Google box. You should have seen the shock on my face when article after article popped up on the screen. I even found an entire site devoted entirely to the study and investigation of big cat sightings in Ireland. We're talking sightings of leopards, tigers, and even a lion or two. I don't ever remember seeing any articles about this before, so it leaves me wondering how my CHARACTERS knew it before I did.

Now, after reading some of these articles my muse took off running and things are moving along and making sense. And of course my characters are much happier now that I've stopped calling them "dogs" and started calling them kitties... Okay, they don't like kitties much either, but they agree it's better than dog.

How about you? Has that ever happened before where your characters seemed to know something before you did? How do you deal with it? Do you just go with the flow?

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