On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Disappearing/Reappearing Characters

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Ooops. When I wrote that blog last week about Hanging Plotting on Characters, I did a brief breakdown of HeartMate.

My stomach clutched.

One of the subplots of HeartMate dealt with Danith, the heroine, wanting to marry Claif Clover, her best friend's (Mitchella Clover) brother. I realized THEN that I hadn't mentioned Claif AT ALL in Heart Choice, Mitchella's book. It has, of course, been out since July so it's Far Too Late Now. I felt bad. Like I'd slipped up. Until I realized something else.

You see, in Heart Choice, EVERY hero and heroine of the previous books walked on stage and demanded a working part (not, like, just a party where we see them) in the book. I was going crazy wondering why they ALL showed up. Truly. But they all DID participate in the book.

NO, I DID NOT PLAN FOR EVERYONE TO SHOW UP. As far as I'm concerned, all previous characters shouldn't be in the current unless they have something to contribute, and even then the cast can get unweildly.

In fact, my last hero, Straif Blackthorn in Heart Choice, COULD NOT show up in the book I've just finished writing: Heart Quest (out in September, and yeah, yeah, yeah, I know about the confusion with the Heart titles).

Straif HAD to be absent from Heart Quest. He's a tracker. Heart Quest deals with a murder mystery (sort of). If Straif had appeared he could have stolen the show and maybe solved the crimes more easily, my hero's --Ilex Winterberry's -- job. Thus he was GONE until the end.

So, back to Claif Clover. By the above definition, since Claif had nothing to contribute, he didn't stroll on stage. That doesn't prevent him from being HIGHLY offended with me. I think I'll send him to the southern continent to get lost (always his fate).

May your characters surprise and please you (and not drive you crazy) today.


Blogger moonhart said...

Robin, I always love reading about how your characters dictate to you. It makes me feel like I am not alone. I work with a cast of thousands and I blame it all on my theatre background (among other things.)

Still, I am getting to the point where I post a sign stating, "New characters need not apply."

Still, they don't seem to discouraged at all.



9:02 PM  

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