The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How My Characters Changed My Mind

Last week I wrote a post promising to tell you how my two main characters in my current WIP changed my mind, and then I proceeded to tell you about my journey into the world of writing instead. Well, I'm going to finish the story now.

As you may recall, my current WIP is actually the second part of a story I wrote several years ago. This story was based on a dream, and this dream occurred in chapters. In the last chapter of my dream, my main character was a bitter old woman who had missed out on happiness. So, when I wrote the original story, I wrote this character with that image in mind. I knew she was going to end up miserable, therefore I didn't want to like her very much. While she started out okay, as the story progressed I increasingly made her do bad stuff, until she reached the point of being about as lovable as a wild boar (Yes, horrible comparison, but it's three in the morning). I had to make people hate her, or else they'd just feel horrible in the end because she lost the guy and ended up all alone.

When I decided to break the story into two books, I realized that I needed to add more depth to my characters. I wanted to find out what made them tick. Why did they choose to do the things they did? What did they want out of life, and what were they most afraid of?

What I discovered with my female destined-to-be-a-hag character was that she was pretty much terrified of everything. She wanted to be loved, but didn't feel worthy, and she craved acceptance. As I wrote in these vunerabilities, which are equally matched by her male counterpart, I started NOT hating her. I sympathized with her.

Then I began to tailor the story around both of my characters' flaws, which meant the story got a lot longer, but also more interesting. I shared experiences with them; worrying in times of trouble, feeling proud over their selfless acts, and being downright joyful when things came together in the end. I fell in love with my characters!

Of course, this next book is the continuation of that story. This is the part where my female character is supposed to turn wicked. The problem is now that I know my female character, and love her, I just can't do it. Well, I take that back, I can a little. But not for the sake of making me hate her. It's because she still has an issue to contend with, and until she "gets it" there's going to be trouble. But, the difference is that she WILL eventually "get it." She's convinced me to save her from being a miserable old hag, and my male MC is pretty happy about that too.

Oh! I want to let those of you who read, "My Writing Journey," know that somewhere in this second book I'm going to sneak in a unicorn. ;) Kat. Really! However the setting will remain on Earth.

Monday begins the, "My Writing Journey," blog series. My guest blogger is Anne Patrick. Anne's book, Journey to Redemption, releases on Sept. 15th.


  1. Changing the story in that manner is tough, but I can understand if she got into your heart, you wouldn't want to doom that character.

    I worked that in reverse with one character. Made her completely unlikeable in Book II, although I understood her motivation. So by Book V, which was her story, I had to make readers understand her as well - and hopefully like her!

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

  2. As far as I'm concerned, you do what you gotta do to keep your male MC happy. I could NOT bear to see him sad :(.

    And, yay, a unicorn!

    I have a character that is changing my mind a bit, too. I've been pondering his motivations, and at first I thought he was always just bad, but now I'm seeing he started off quite noble, and suffered some serious scorn that turned him. I now actually sympathize with him a bit, which is finally helping me get this darn second book written!

  3. L. Diane. It has made it so the second half of the story is completely different, but I think I'm going to like it more. I thought a lot about the message of the original story, and there is a minor character that played a major role in some of the choices my MC made. This character is getting more face time in the rewrite as some of the message is going to come through what my MC sees as her own fate by watching this character. I'm actually really excited about this. I'm spending lots of time investigating Hollywood's golden era. Holy Cow!

    @ Kat. Yes, I have to confess, Jakob played a big part in my decision. He just didn't seem quite right without her.

  4. Great post - interesting!
    the unicorn? :)
    What a great window into your world.
    I am tickled!

  5. It will probably have to be a stuffed animal, or piece of jewelry, but I'm going to get that unicorn in there somehow! Then we can all giggle when we read it.


1970 Olds 442


If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)