I have characters taking over the story as soon as they appear.
It would be fine if they would all go in the same direction, but no, they remind me of cattle needing corralled.The characters aren't like stampeding animals all rushing on the same path only to tire and stop. My creations all take off like they're going to different pastures on different ranches on different planets.
Out comes the lasso, and away we go. Herding them, pulling them back, trying to get them still long enough to at least get a brand on them—that's what it feels like.I simply outlast the characters, wrangling them until they settle into the story.
Plotting is the answer. Or so it would seem.
Before I begin a manuscript, I beg and whine to my subconscious, trying to tell it this is not a game. We need to work together. Plot—I tell myself. So I do. I work out a beginning, middle and end. But do the characters listen? No. They're stampeding.
I find I must use drastic measures. I hope my little imaginary friends are taking note. A character, Geoff, went in his own direction.
Dear Geoff. I had to get serious with him. He did it his way. Then, I did what I had to do. He's in a different plot now.
How to Plot a Story in 10 Easy Steps
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