When Characters Come A’Knockin’…Are You Home?

writing, process, writers, styleI’m certain that there are writers out there that do a thorough story plot, get all their characters in a neat little row, know how their story is going to end.  And that’s all before they write a word of their tale.

I, as a writer, would probably frighten some.  I just sit down and start  typing.  Yes, the story has been bubbling, in my head, for days.  There comes a point where I have to empty it before smoke seeps out of my ears.  Many of my chapters are not numbered because I don’t know yet exactly where they will fit.
And much to my eternal delight (and gratitude) characters just keep showing up.  Many of them I never planned.  When they made their appearance, I had to shape the story around them….because once they show up, they are NOT leaving!  Let me give you some examples.

Beneath the Bridge of Murder Beneath the Bridge of Murder:  O’Roarke and Garcia are down on the docks of Manhattan.  The call is from the NYPD Marine Patrol who pulled out another dead body from the river. As they walk toward the ME and cops gathered around the scene, a young, pretty uniform officer steps out of her patrol car.  Molly wasn’t planned; and now she will be an intricate  part of this mystery and will appear in future books. (can’t tell you more).

Frnt.COVER.tasteofmurder_11OCTThe Taste of Murder:  Arnold Miller (Broadway star and a key character in The Act of Murder.) walks off the elevator that O’Roarke and Garcia, NYPD, are  waiting for in the Food Network Building in lower Manhattan. What’s he doing in this story?
Cover.Angel - Copy

The Angel of Murder:  Vito Vandellino, PI appeared on the page and began tromping all over O’Roarke’s case.  Where the heck did this guy come from?  These are strictly cop, true crime stories.  But Vito is hired to try to find an affluent couple’s missing daughter and I’d better go along with it.  Now, he’s back with his nephew in “Beneath the Bridge….”.

The Song of the Yukon:  My aunt La Verne tapped me on the should one night and said, “Okay, you’ve written your mother’s story but why aren’t you writing mine?  It’s far more interesting; full of adventure and danger and love.”  Well, it was a good question.  I barely knew her as she lived most of her life in the wilds of Alaska in the 1920’s.  So I am writing my ‘epic’ about her life….still not finished…other stories keep getting in the way.  I will finish it…just not yet.  (and writers:  that’s okay to let a story ‘rest’.  It will still be there when you want it.)

faeries, elves, warlocks, fables, riddles, fairy tales, theatreAnd the adorable and Effervescent elf, Cheets.  He put his over-sized feet in my back one night around TheEEElf-Cover1-207x3003AM.  Insisted that I write about him, pushed me out of bed.  By the time I had made my cup of tea, Cheets had given me the other characters’ names and we were on our way.  Now keep in mind, I was NOT a children’s story writer.  What was happening??  Now, four plays and four story books later….well, I guess I am a fairy tale story teller.  Lord knows, I love me some fairy tales.

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