When Characters Take Charge

Do you remember when Oprah hosted an author and a small group of readers to discuss the work? A reader might bemoan the character’s fate and ask the writer, “How could you do that to her?” The author invariably would respond with similar emotion and agree that the outcome disturbed her, too.

“But you are the author?” someone wpuld query.

“Yes, but the character directed her own outcome.”

A moment of puzzled quiet followed.

I was confused by the author’s answer myself, that is, until I had similar experiences with characters stepping into the directors’ roles.

Have any of you experienced this in your own writing?

A recent read confirmed how other authors are faced with assertive characters: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (which I would highly recommend.) Ms. Grissom discussed her own challenge. In the “Author’s Note” she described her own phenomenon:

“Each day more of the story unfolded,…I was left to wonder what the following day would bring. … I tried on a number of occasions to change some of the events (those I found profoundly disturbing), but the story would stop when I did that, so I forged ahead to write what was revealed.”

Many authors would discount this character takeover, but I have experienced it and wonder about you.

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Branding and the Brain—What We Post On-Line Matters

Kristen Lamb is a must read weekly! ❤ Jessica

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We’ve been talking about social media and building a platform the past couple of posts. I know this is a topic that makes most of us break out in hives, especially when you don’t yet have a book for sale. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt. It’s sort of like credit. You can’t get any credit because you don’t yet have any credit but you don’t yet have any credit because no one will give you credit because you don’t have credit.

My head hurts.

Thus, today is for all levels of authors. Yes, even Jane Newbie who hasn’t yet finished the first book. We are going to talk about the bare essence of branding.

In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World I go into a lot more detail about the science behind branding, but today we are going to talk about why our…

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