19 April 2011

If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck....

Have you ever tried to make something into something it's not? Or maybe you tried to steer your plot one way and though it tried to go a different way, you forced it down the path of most resistance anyway?


Wanna know why?

During writing good ol' Duality, I've learned a lot about acceptance. About accepting what you're writing as it is. I didn't intend to write a love story when I first started on it. Really, I didn't. Once the romantic element reared its head, I didn't want it to take over. Duality's about a lot of things--what really makes us human, the danger of letting science go too far, the costs of scientific advancement--but I didn't want (and never expected) it to be about love.

But it is in its own little way.

I fought against its true nature. But as I'm writing my synopsis and working on the new *FINAL* ending, I realized that there was a lot more of a love element to it than I wanted. And honestly? It's a lot better for it.

I never wanted to be a 'romance writer' (no offense to those awesome romance authors who actually read this), mostly because I don't find my ideas to be that romantic. But dammit all, if this isn't, then what is it? Deep down, it's about love and loss and desperation. Accepting that has made EVERYTHING so. Much. Easier.

After all, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's not gonna be a fire hydrant.

Q4U: Have you guys ever had that happen, where you intended one thing and got something totally different? Were you surprised by the results? Let me know in the comments!


agirlintheworld said...

I completely understand what you mean about a story taking on a life of its own. My own stories were never supposed to be about romance, and yet each one demands it. It has surprised me, especially because I have never been a romance reading kind of person, but I suppose that love really does make the world--fantasy and otherwise--go round.

Pippa Jay said...

I never, ever intended to write a romance. I was writing a scifi story, but the closer I got to the end, the more I realised my two main characters were going to end up together. But even then, I still called it a scifi novel. It took several people, particularly other writers smacking me over the head to realise I HAD written a romance and needed to submit it as such. But I wouldn't change it. :)

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Those cloned Pleistocene beasts will NOT escape into the North Dakota countryside!

An unmarried man and an unmarried woman CAN work closely together during a crisis WITHOUT having sex and falling in love!

OK, maybe in the REAL world these things won't happen. But in a book ... well, the mechanics of storytelling have been around far, far longer than I have. Yeah, I caved. And yeah, better book in the end. Damn it.

Keep listening to the story!

lexcade said...

It's so interesting how stories work themselves out, like there's always one element that demands to be heard, even when it's the one element you want to suppress. The underlying story is a love story, sure, but I never wanted it to become as important as it is. Love really does make all our little worlds go round, it seems :)

Renae said...

Stories do have a way of working themselves out. Everytime I try to force the story I end up deleting.

lexcade said...

Ditto. I can see the places where I've tried to steer the story in the direction *I* think it should go, and it just sounds AWFUL. So static and dull.

Thanks for commenting!

Liana Brooks said...

It happens all the time. In one of my early novels I tried to force a romance. The characters kissed, and I broke up laughing. So did they. It was awkward and they were wrong for each other even though they worked together.

I tried to keep the characters in line with my standards and my morals, and realized people living my kind of life never get into trouble. It's hard to torture your characters if they always tow the line, make good choices, listen patiently to others, and eat healthy. Once I started letting my characters make some bad decisions the books became much less stilted, and a lot more fun to write.