Monday, April 2, 2007

Those Darn Kids!

That's what they seem like sometimes. Impudent children. Rebellious teenagers. A writer can have a love/hate relationship with his or her own characters. You start off with a clear idea in mind. You know exactly who they are and what they're going to do. Then all of a sudden they take off on some wild tangent you never dreamed them capable of pursuing.

Take Jake and Rebecca, for example. (I'll deal with them later for breaking into my blog.) When I first started writing this book, I had a pretty good idea of who she was. Upscale. A survivor. Someone who's dealt with her past and built on it. Jake wasn't quite as clear for me. All I knew was he'd somehow lost all that was important to him and he barely scratched out a living now.

Then Rebecca walked into his life, and he started calling her "doll." Just that one simple nickname defined his character for me. He's the kind I call the reluctant hero. He doesn't want to join the cause, but he can't abandon it either. Like Rhett at the end of the first reel. He'd rather be playing a civilized game of poker, but the war is raging. What's a man to do?

I love that kind of guy. Rough around the edges. But always, always unable to keep himself from doing the right thing, the noble thing. Even Rebecca gets it. She knows there's gold inside. It may take her a while to get to it, but just the promise is enough to keep her chipping away at his carved-in-stone exterior.

And nothing is appreciated if it comes too easily.

Right, kids?

Have a great day!

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