The strangest thing happened to me yesterday while I sat down to write. It was early afternoon, the kids were taking a nap and I was feeling particularly inspired to write, something that rarely happens when the sun is up. Not wanting to mess with the muse I sat down in front of my computer and started writing.
I was working on the beginning of my current contemporary romance, I needed to explain more of where my main character came from, show a glimpse into what her failed marriage felt like from the inside, instead of talking about it from the outside. My lead was sitting in the back of the limo she absolutely loathed being driven around by her husband’s chauffeur who always looked at her with pity in his eyes.
She rubs her temples trying to ward off the headache she can feel coming on while she looks out the window at the passing city blocks. As people under umbrellas and trench coats rush past her to get out of the rain, she spots a man leaning against the door frame of an old, boarded up store almost as if he’s waiting for someone. The limo rolls to a stop at a traffic light and she gets a better look at him. He seems dark, mysterious…completely soaked from the rain and not caring. Just as she’s about to look away his dark eyes flash a brilliant blue.
What? I shake my head. Where did that come from? She’s supposed to be driving home from the theatre, not finding weird guys with flashing eyes looming in darkened entry ways. This is a contemporary romance for goodness sake! I blink a couple of times to get my focus back to the lonely woman trying to come to grips with a failing marriage. As soon as my eyes look at the screen the world around me disappears.
My attentions are focused on that mysterious man in the doorway. Before I know any better I wrote several paragraphs about him, what he looks like, how he makes her feel. It was honestly and truly like I was in a trance. I wish that doesn’t sound as crazy as it does, but its the truth.
And that ladies and gentlemen is when I decided that I need to stop fighting myself. I need to write what always interested me, even from a young age. Ghosts, magic, witches, faeries, folklore you name it, if its weird and “out there” it has been an interest of mine ever since I can remember. I love watching shows about ghosts, about the mysterious and unknown. I love it even more when I get so scared I need to sleep with a light on and basically on top of Sparky for fear of something getting me.
When I get bored waiting at a doctor’s office (and with two young kids it seems like we are always gracing some MD’s door) I imagine the people coming in have some paranormal anomaly that they are here to get corrected. That that one door that the nurses are always coming out of, but no patient goes through, is actually a door to the other side. It may just look like a supply closet to us, but what do we know?
I know, I know, I have way too much time on my hands.
There were times when I was working on my NaNo novel and on the one I was just working on when I thought “something needs to happen, something weird, something dark.” Yeah, well, it happened.
It’s like my subconscious got tired of waiting for me to come around and stole my story. You heard me, my mind hijacked my story. There I was writing a happy little contemporary romance and all of a sudden there is a mysterious man making bright blue eyes at my heroine.
When I told Sparky about this revelation he just laughed and you know what he said??? He said – are you ready for this? He said “It’s. About. Time.” He then went on to list all paranormal things that I love, from tv shows, movies, to books and even going on our own ghost hunts to Gettysburg and Bethlehem, PA.
Well, gee, hun, if you were aware of this, when were you going to let me in on this little secret?
Anyways. So that’s that. I’m still doing romance, because, hey, even paranormals need a little lovin’ but I’m just adding a little twist to it, at least for this novel. An exciting and dark twist. I think I’m going to like it.
Have characters you never thought about appear in your story and steal it? Or have minor characters suddenly turn into major players and demand their time in the spotlight? Did you try to fight it or did you just resign yourself to the fact that a bunch of fictional characters that you made up know more about writing a good story than you do?