Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't fear the Reaper - BE the Reaper

Good day fellow plotters!

My novels The Plotters of Cantaera are about a race of super powerful beings with the power to control the lives of every single human on the world of Cantaera.

Using Cantaera as their own little “novel” they use their version of a “word processor” (called the master sequence)to force changes and memory modifications on their subjects.

Wouldn’t you love to have that kind of power?

Wait! You DO have that power.

YOU are the master of your own novel and the characters within.

YOU have the power to make those nasty little buggers do whatever you want them to do!

Sometimes it is all too easy for first time novelists (and even old seasoned writers) to forget this. We fall into the trap of thinking we can’t make the changes because of this or that reason.

Quite often our fear is really only complacency, or, if I may be so bold -- LAZINESS.

So with the hope that this will help you avoid the pitfall and strike out to conquer your wayward characters, here are THREE (count ‘em  three!) mantras of power you can use to edit out those unwanted degrees of freedom from your subjects, er, characters and put them on the correct path for life as ordained by you!

1.       YOU ARE THE MASTER: That’s right. SAY IT OUT LOUD. You are the one in control of these tiny minded sons-of-flea-bitten... ok, ok you get the idea. But you are! Really! So ACT like you have control. Yes, it’s ok to let the creative juices flow, especially when you are “in the zone”. But when you step back and it looks like you have veered off course, steer the vehicle right back where you want it to go.

2.       DON’T FEAR THE REAPER: BOC said it best. (Hey did you know the lead singer for Blue Oyster Cult was named BuckDharma? True story.) What I mean is, do NOT be afraid to make cuts, changes, edits, etc. when “fixing” the things that have gone wrong. Got a character that isn’t working? Make the girl a boy, change the name, make them older/younger... and, even go so far as to CUT THAT CHARACTER entirely! It’s ALL up to you!

3.       BREATHE: Yep, that’s what I said. Just breathe. Take a step back. Wait a day or two (or three or seventeen).  Take the time you need to make SURE that the characters are working. If you have a trustworthy sort of friend, let them read it. Ask them if the characters are working. Then sort it out.

The bottom line is this: TAKE CONTROL. Do NOT let the characters take control of your will. Yes, sometimes it’s good to let them go where they will, but NOT if it detracts from your PLOT.


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