Sunday, November 9, 2008

Diverting a Bit

(What's outside my window on this beautiful autumn Sunday? Golden leaves from my maple tree blanket the deck and yard. Spunky squirrels are chasing one another up the tree. The sky is cloudless and deep blue.)

I love this time of year. It's the time for sweaters, wrapping up in a quilt on the couch to read. It's an inspiring time of the year for me, and I get more writing done than in the summer months. I'm diverting a bit in this entry from the production of Surrender the Wind. I was on the subject of characters the last time, and characters, to me, are what makes a book long as they becoming living, breathing, flesh and blood people to readers.

I'm currently writing another novel entitled Beside Two Rivers. It is next in the Lion and the Eagle series of books that transport readers between early America and its mother --- England. Next weekend my husband and I are going to get up early and take a day trip out to the Potomac and the Harpers Ferry area where part 1 of the story takes place and Beside Two Rivers ends. Hubbie went fishing there yesterday morning at 5 am and said the trees were beautiful, especially the sycamores.

Anyway, I have been working on a scene in the book, and suddenly two characters popped up first in my imagination and then on paper. Rose and Lily --- twin nieces of my hero Ethan Brennan. They have added a new twist to the story --- born out of wedlock to Ethan's sister, Georgianna, who died giving birth to them. Ethan has the responsibility of raising his nieces, as well as protecting them from their unfavorable father and the scandal that could follow them throughout their lives. The heroine, Darcy Morgan, will come to cherish these children as well.

Rose and Lily are day and night. Rose has dark hair, round apple cheeks and large brown eyes. She's a bit of a tomboy at age 3. I've named her after my mother, and modeled her personality from the descriptions of her as a little girl. Bashful Lily has sandy hair, curls that tumble down to her shoulders, blue eyes and creamy skin. She is more the little miss.

This was not planned. Often my minor characters are not. They just pop up. As a writer, does this happen to you while working on your novel in progress? Please share with me.


Angie Ledbetter said...

What a happy unplanned addition. It sometimes happens to me, but as I've only got the one fiction ms and stuck pretty close to my outline, not with that one. Nice blog home here.

Shelley said...

I've had some characters pop into mind that weren't planned, though sometimes I've had to discard them because they didn't work too well. I don't have much in the way of finished writing (other than some short stories), but in the novel I'm working on I've had some characters that showed up unannounced. I'm fitting them in with the story, because I think they can work. I have to be careful though, that they don't take away from the main plot.


Kasie West said...

A lot of my side characters are not planned and even if they are planned a lot of times I don't really know them until I start writing them. It is such a fun process of discovery. Thanks for sharing some of your new little family with us and thanks for dropping by my blog. It is very inspiring to see your steps through this process and that success is possible.

Jessica said...

Yep. I love to have someone unexpected pop in. It makes things more exciting, I think.
Or more confusing, LOL.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi InSpire -

I enjoy hearing how authors get their characters. All of my characters were planned, although some of them got bigger parts than I'd originally intended.

Susan :)

Amy Deardon said...

The unplanned characters sometimes take over, and/or move the story in unexpected directions. Your two little girls sound charming! Can't wait to read more about them..

Bonnie Toews said...

You won't believe it, but your twins are the spitting images of my fraternal twin granddaughters. One is a tomboy, the fairhaired one. She has a sense of satire and comes out with the most delightful one-liners. The darker haired one is all female--loves fashion and dressing up--but she is also an incredible acrobat.

Like you, I have had characters pop into existence--some were transitional characters, like the old Basque in northern Spain. The mirror heroine actually was born as I thought of "what ifs" to explain how the original heroine might have survived.

In my latest novel, my characters were very demanding about their names. One just didn't come to life as I tried to rename him with something more spirited until I surrendered and gave him back his original name. Then he settled down and we rolled along with no more frustration.