When Characters Take Over

Characters are a mainstay of fiction. They come into the story, play their part and leave. They are created by the writer and do what the writer orders them to do. 

Or not. 

The other day I was reminded of how the 'or not' works.

After a long, cold, snowy winter, a few warm days thawed the snow in the field behind our house enough that Bailey, or grandson's dog, could run in the fields once again because the snow was no longer deeper than her shoulders. I let her out to do her thing, knowing that she'd come right back because she always does. She's a very obedient dog and wants to do the right thing. 

Not that day. As she realized that she could finally run freely, she took off. I called and she paused to look at me long enough that I knew she heard. Then she kept on going. Grumbling, I pulled on boots and coat and slogged through inches of slush covered by about a foot of wet snow with a leash in my hand. I was not a happy camper. Until I reached her where she played in the bare ground beneath a few Jackpine trees. She came dancing to meet me, inviting me to come run with her and enjoy this beautiful, spring day knowing that the wonder of this day overcame any usual rules about coming when called.

As our eyes met I realized that I was looking at Snowball, the wolf pup character in my novel Wolf Legend who also is lovable and wants to be a good wolf but can't when the excitement of being alive overcomes the rules she's supposed to live by. Snowball's character that took over the book and changed it from a romance between two people to a book about her. Mainly her. 

Until that second, I'd not known that I'd based Snowball's character on Bailey. At that moment, I forgave Snowball for taking over the book, directing the plot line to somewhere I'd not planned for it to go, and changing it from one kind of book to another.

This happens all the time to my stories. I know it happens to many writers, even those who do their best to rein in their wayward characters. Sometimes, like with Bailey, we writers realize where the change originates and why we can't stop it. Sometimes we never know. But, in a mysterious way that I refuse to believe can be quantified, this sneaky mutiny of inspiration almost always makes the story better.

Florence’s stories begin as simple tales of contemporary life, often in small towns or the wilderness she knows so well. Where they go from there is what makes them special. There is always a strong sense of place. Sometimes they cross genres and contain paranormal, sci/fi, or fantasy elements. There is usually a romance and there are always characters her readers like and would enjoy having as friends.
Most of all, there is a story because what Florence does best is tell stories. Well plotted stories that carry the characters towards a logical conclusion that always includes a happy ending.  Stories that shine light on the human condition while they celebrate the world we live in.  Stories that her readers relate to and remember long after the reading is over.
She writes about people who are as normal as apple pie (most of them, anyway) who unexpectedly find themselves in the middle of situations ranging from the heartwarming through the difficult and all the way to the horrendous. But Florence’s characters choose to act instead of running away. In the process, they survive, thrive, overcome whatever obstacles large or small are thrown in front of them, and while they are at it, they find time to fall in love.
Florence was born in the city and has lived in the suburbs, small towns, the country and the wilderness area of northern Minnesota, where she still lives with her husband and a cowardly cat named Smoke.
At various times in her writing career she’s been a confession writer, a copywriter, a ghost writer and an editor. She writes short stories, novellas and novels.  Her work has been categorized as romance, science-fiction, fantasy, mainstream and eco-fiction, to name a few genres that it fits so beautifully into.
Amazon link:   http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009R6WMT0
Smashwords link:  http://www.smashwords/com/books/view/287109



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