When your characters take over

I’ve heard in interviews with fiction writers, that they find they come to a point where their characters take over. They become whole and step free from the bounds of the writer’s creative process and start taking over. They speak. They act. They demand. They take the original plans for the story and shred them – making the whole thing shift into another gear, or veer off in another direction.

I confess that I’d formerly put this down to a slightly hysterical, probably-amped-up-on-caffiene-and-sleep-deprivation type mindset. I’d been a bit sneery (and likely more condescending than was strictly necessary), my initial reaction consisting of a bemused, indulgent “There, there…”

Until it happened to me.

I was utterly surprised and unprepared for just how quickly and completely it occurred.

One moment I was bewildered by the eruption of a story which just ‘happened’, having gone prospecting for new bloggers to read, and accidentally struck Muse – then the story reared up again, with a second part I never bargained for.

Throughout the process of telling, Anitra has been getting stronger, and my narrator has grown brighter and more solid, until they walked off the pages and into my mind, and whilst absorbed in the menial (but delightful) activity of gardening in the sunshine, they wrote two further pieces to the story as I watched, fascinated.

The really awesome thing is that throughout the process, my Muse has been chipping in, providing pieces of music (whether via some kind of weird telepathy; when I heard a piece on the radio, and all of a sudden her name was there, hanging in the room on the notes of the song, and it turned out to be one of her favourites) or physically, doing me the most enormous honour of actually recording a for-real piece of her playing for me.

A piece which fitted SO PERFECTLY with this; the freshly-crafted and (at the time not-yet-written) last part online.

[And no, I’m not going to share her playing with you, because I love it, and I listened to it a hundred times as I wrote this chapter, with Anitra prodding me awake at the turn of each sentence, insisting I continue writing, and in any case – I’m intensely jealous about this piece, because it’s gorgeous and just-for-me, and it’s going to stay that way.]

BUT I will tell you this…

…my narrator – the woman through whose eyes the story has been relayed – finally relented, and I now know her name.

Anitra’s tale is coming home to where it belongs; chez Mandi, so follow me over and read The Story of Autumn

If you want to catch up, here’s the story so far:

Shadows and Stardust

The Wasted Minstrel

Anitra’s Chance

And that’s it. No more will be published online. But I have a good and hopeful feeling that Anitra’s not done with me yet, so I’m counting my lucky stars to have found such a willing and enthusiastic Muse – if we’re lucky, the remainder might one day be available as a BOOK!

Fingers crossed…

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