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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Thoughts

So, quick housekeeping--after some thought, the story now takes place in just Connecticut, as opposed to New York City and Connecticut at once. It makes more sense to have it set in one place than having my characters drive every which where. Plus, being a West Coast girl and never having gone to the East Coast, it cuts down on any mistakes I might make when researching. Google only does so much. New York City will still be making an appearance, though.  
Ayden and Sydney will have, at the very least, a memorable first meeting. They don't even know the other existed by default, though Sydney vaguely recalls Liam (Ayden's grandfather) mentioning a granddaughter. Not that ever made an impact on Sydney, but he still doesn't know anything about her. (Ayden takes great offense to this and Sydney insists that it was not his fault that he wasn't paying attention.)
So here comes the great main root of the story--why is Sydney at Halcyon House? What is he running from? Why did Liam let him stay there? Does he have family? Do they know that he's there?Why the Halcyon House? What secrets is he keeping, and for that matter, what secrets does Halcyon House keep about the McKenna clan?
This is the fun part about writing a story like this. You can let the characters take you away on this journey as they tell you the story of their lives. "This is what happened to me, and I want you to write it," is the constant refrain in my head as I navigate the narrative. Sometimes it flows so naturally, so beautifully it's like waking up out of a wonderful dream when you're done. You look back on what you've written and you're like, "Wow, did all of that just come out of my head?"
Of course, the trouble with having such strong-willed characters like Ayden or Sydney or even Silas is that they have their own very definite ideas as to where the story should go. And you, as the writer, have the choice to submit to their whims or impose your will on them. Now, if you submit to the will of your characters, this can lead to a very character-driven story which can be very fun to write--and sometimes a clunky mess. Unfinished plot-lines, unresolved issues, loose ends by the boat load. So you can impose your will on them instead, and that leads to the story where you want it go--but the characters will sulk magnificently because they think you've given them the short shrift.
So where does this leave you, the narrator?
Let your characters talk, but don't let them steal the show. This is still your story that you're writing. You need to figure out where it goes and what it does and not let the overwhelming force of nature that are your characters browbeat you into compliance. And also, if a absolutely wonderful idea comes to you in one of those rare but brilliant "Eureka!" flashes, write it down before you forget--seriously, it will drive you absolutely crazy later if you don't remember it! 
So that's my advice to any aspiring writers who happen to scanning this. Good luck with any and all of your works!
Over & Out,

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