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Random Musings
20th-Sep-2007 04:34 pm
People have been commenting that it has been unusually quiet on the LJ front lately so in an attempt to come up with a topic for discussion...

Support group for writers with characters who refuse to cooperate/try to take over stories...or WWCWRTC/TTTOS...

For those who have been following my journal-which basically chronicles my b7 writing journey/woes plus some miscellaneous personal stuff-you know some of the problems I have been having with several of the characters.

Feel free to share your own writing mishaps...which characters do you have the most problems with and why? How did you get them to cooperate finally or did you have to go in a different direction? Or did you give up altogether?
Twin Souls
20th-Sep-2007 09:47 am (UTC)
I usually let my guys do what they want to. Once though, I was trying to force Vila to do something he didn't want to, for the sake of plot, and while reading through what I'd written already, I found he'd promised Avon he'd do something else. He was right to object, so I changed that bit and it was OK.

It's called 'disassociation' I believe, and it's surprising how strong it can be. I often feel I'm just watching a scene and writing it down.

I haven't had time to catch up with your stories yet, so I can't comment on any difficulties you're having right now.
20th-Sep-2007 09:54 am (UTC)
It's funny but the first character I had problems with was Vila as well. I needed him to do something heroic to save the day and he just wouldn't. I ended up having to work around him and getting a stronger character to 'sit' on him.
20th-Sep-2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Vila will be heroic if he cares enough, and there's no one else around to do it. He does surprisingly brave things throughout canon, but protesting all the way. So if you have him need to save others, or not be left on his own (which frightens him more than anything else) but also complain the whole time, he'll probably do it. :-)
20th-Sep-2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
hmmm that's true...
20th-Sep-2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
"Disassociation" - a state in which some integrated part of a person's life becomes separated from the rest of the personality and functions

...and it's surprising how strong it can be
That's very interesting. So do you come up with an idea and just see how the characters react to it?
20th-Sep-2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, I don't have a split personality! I heard an author on the radio call it that. I do come up with the plots, but sometimes the guys get away from me. In my latest story, 'Beta Release', the crew turned what was to short scene at one of Blake's rebel ed sessions into a much longer one.

I think I set the scene then let them extemporise.
20th-Sep-2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
It's their world, we're just observing it!--so I let them do what they want.
20th-Sep-2007 12:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, if my characters don't occasionally disagree with me, or go on sit-down strike, that means they're not alive & I need to work with them more until they become feisty.

When they do become totally uncooperative (as Avon has been known to do, frequently) I tend to give up and start writing something else. Avon particularly hates being ignored, so he usually will slip back in while I'm working on Project #2 and casually mention that he wouldn't *entirely* protest if he was asked to do 'q' instead of 'p'.
20th-Sep-2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, if my characters don't occasionally disagree with me, or go on sit-down strike, that means they're not alive
I have the opposite problem. If my characters do that it's usually because they're too alive and seem to have a mind and will of their own.
20th-Sep-2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
That's what I meant. The characters who don't ever fight you are zombies.
20th-Sep-2007 01:22 pm (UTC)
I very rarely have this problem because I don't bother coming up with plot.

No, really! The irony is that my stories end up totally Plotty McPlot.

I come up with a situation and set the characters down in it. Then I just watch what they do. At several points during the fic, their behavior leads me to a juncture when I ask myself, "So what if this happens?" and I throw them a curve.

But every now and then, something awful happens that will alter the characters fundamentally in a way that makes them non-viable - they pass over some Rubicon which causes the reader to hate them, or they can't function with each other anymore. They end up in a situation where the only logical thing to for them do is devastating to them. In B7, I usually delete those stories. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, think "Orbit." "Blake" isn't the story that makes it hard to continue with B7, it's "Orbit." It would have ended up in my recycle bin.

In DV, however, I keep those stories. They're pretty much canon.
20th-Sep-2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
In DV, however, I keep those stories. They're pretty much canon.
That's interesting...
20th-Sep-2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
Ah, I like 'Orbit'. I think it was actually a necessary segue to 'Blake'. Without 'Orbit', then 'Blake' would have been... like missing two steps on a staircase, or not having enough points on a graph to smooth out the curve.
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