When Your Characters Surprise You

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I thought I knew what my next project was going to be about. Without giving too much away (for fear of angering my muse), it was about a girl who discovers that her family has been hiding an explosive secret about her childhood.

Well. I was all set to start work on said project, and to sit there like I normally do and envision the world of the story until it all boiled over, forcing me to rush to the computer like a mad woman to get those first five pages down.

Didn’t happen.

I was at the beauty salon yesterday (getting all of my hair chopped off, but that’s another story), sitting under the hair dryer. This adorable little girl was walking by showing people something she’d colored in a coloring book when all of a sudden I got this image of this socialite in a gorgeous, strapless, colorful dress that had a split up to the knee. Her hair was pulled back, her makeup was flawless, and she held her head like she was having a migraine right before she took off running through her expansive mansion to hide the evidence of the crime she’d committed.

And just like that a new project was born. I was stunned (and intrigued!), and went home that night, put two sentences on the page, and then walked away. I let the idea simmer overnight and at about 5:30 this morning I was up creating the world of this story, and creating the bio for the main character, the poor lady who will be most affected by the awful thing this socialite has done.

I have to say that I am very excited. I can’t wait to find out what horrible things this well to do woman is capable of. It never ceases to amaze me the way these characters just spring to life, when we least expect them to, and remind us why we fell in love with writing in the first place.


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