Posted by Joanne Hayle
Today is 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was released…happy anniversary to JK Rowling and Harry.
My writing brain stays on almost constantly and can set me challenges I may want to ignore at 5am!!
I have been known to come up with a plot twist whilst cleaning my teeth or in dreams and basics for articles for my clients can pop in to my head at the weirdest times. This is no 9-5 job! But that’s what I love about writing. Anytime, anywhere unexpected guests and developments arrive.
With fiction you aren’t so much in control of the work as the characters…I’m the ringmaster-lion tamer so the characters don’t run away with themselves but sometimes they write themselves slightly differently from the “plan.”
I may have spent time outlining the plot etc. and they go and rewrite it organically as if my imagination wasn’t the creator of both!!! Sam in Heads or Tails/Love Will Find a Way was originally intended to be sarcastic-cheeky but he wrote himself as a devious immoral b*****d. This made him stronger. A former neighbour proved to be the unconscious inspiration for the main character’s mother. This made her a lot more ridiculous and everyone knows someone like her.
The plot twist subsequently re-twisted. I liked that. An outline is good as a springboard but few of my fiction books have stuck to my plan…the characters got together and mutinied!
Some writers cry when they kill off their characters, they can say through them what they’d never dare say in real life, work through issues, and they can celebrate with their characters when they achieve their victories, large and small. This doesn’t mean we’re insane…we’re invested!
(The book I wrote when I was suffering from serious depression will never see the light of day…it’s pretty bleak.)
For me, after these good, bad and background characters form the centre of the world through the writing-editing and on to publishing, I let them go…toddling off in to the world to make their way to the readers imagination…and every reader will perceive them slightly differently thanks to their attitudes, perspectives and history. These guys are chameleons.
Hopefully, luckily, happily, a whole new set of characters, a plot and a new butterfly storm of ideas will happen in the most inconvenient but perfect ways…Writing is hard work but fabulous!
Heads or Tails is the paperback version of the e-book Love Will Find a Way. Both available from Amazon.