Once upon a time, I told myself that I would never again work with a character who didn’t talk my ear off. Of course, sometimes a writer is weak. We get distracted by an idea so shiny it hurts just as bad not to write it as it does to write it.
But this is exactly why I think my latest project “Whisper” will work out, even though it’s still super early. She talks to me. For example, she told me she didn’t like most of the songs I put on her story playlist. She’s totally right. I made that playlist for the YA version of the story, and it doesn’t fit the original and current version except for a few songs. So, I’ve been picking songs she likes off other playlists for my car rides to work. She talks about the story, too, telling me things I didn’t know and telling me where to go. She’s very quiet, but she’s happy to talk (now that I’m done trying to control things), and I love the way her voice is spilling out on the pages already. ^_^
This kind of open communication is a requirement – I can’t write a decent story without it, and I know because I’ve tried so many times. I listen to people talk about their writing all the time, and whenever I run into someone who doesn’t need that, it’s like crazy magic to me. How do people do that? How do they get their stories to work without their characters telling them what to do?
In any case, I also have this open communication with the MC of a top secret retelling project that I’m brainstorming. She talks a lot, but not in an obnoxious way. She picked out a couple of songs without me asking, so I put those on a playlist. One of them is the official theme song to the story. It’s so funny how I found that song. It was on a YouTube video talking about songs that are hard to sing, which I think is subjective, given how it mostly depends on what kind of voice you have. I can sing most soprano songs, for example, because I’m a soprano, but ask me to sing something on a low register and suddenly my voice is non-existent.
In any case, out of all the songs on that video, as soon as I heard that one song, I stopped everything to download it, and I’ve since played it out, sang my heart out in the car, made up a music video to it, and cried. ^^ I also have a book-tie-in music video. 😛 I like to think it was the MC making me drop everything to find that song. 🙂 We’re having a good time, me and the monsters. ^^
One of the things I was working on with the top secret retelling is the right name for the MC. She told me her name, but I don’t love it, and neither does she, so we set out to find something else, namely a middle name that she can go by. We found something on one of my lists. I needed that before it could bake on its own. We’re both very excited about the middle name. ^_^
One of the things I want to work on is keeping a super shiny concept from pulling me into a story. I want the characters to pull me into the story. I work best that way. One day I’ll have a plot first and be able to make it work, but I’m 0 for 90 on that now. I’m exaggerating a little, but not much. LOL!
Speaking of fun characters, I talked about Villains on the YouTube channel this week. ^_^