Bet you thought this was going to be about Star Wars, huh? Well, I just saw it yesterday (loved it!), but this is not a blog about the movie series that my family loves to watch. I’ve been having an issue with my characters going rogue since the second I started writing. That’s what happens when you’re a pantser. Pantser = when you don’t plot before you write.
The first time this happen with my writing was when one of my characters got engaged, and I didn’t even realize she was dating anyone seriously. I’ve had characters break up with their significant others on me, offer to do things out of left field, start dating a random person, and so much more. In the book I’m writing now, I found out one of my characters used to be a stripper at one point in time. Say what?! They all have a mind of their own I tell you. I never know what’s going to happen when I sit down to write.
One might ask why don’t I plot instead of waiting for something random to be thrown at me. First, my brain doesn’t work that way. When I start a book, I know where I want the book to end (they all go out for cheeseburgers), and I know how the couple meets. I usually know the basic idea of the plot, but I can’t tell you how many times things have changed. Every one of the nine books I’ve written or worked on have had a surprise in them. I don’t think I’d want it any other way.
If I weren’t a pantser, there are several things that never would have happened in my book series. In Playing by the Rules, Hailey and Wes never would have gotten together if I wouldn’t have had a moment where they took over. Playing with Fire came about because Jax went rogue and wanted a book. He wasn’t even supposed to have a book. Also in that book, there was something that I never saw coming. I typed it out, deleted it, and then I added it back because if I didn’t, I knew it’d make it’s way back eventually. Playing for the Win was full of surprises for me as well. I never liked Bryce anyway, so it was hard to write a book for him. When I realized Addison was adopted and had been sick as a child, it threw a whole new dimension in that relationship. I went into that book with more plotted than the others, but a few things slipped through the cracks.
You know that Forrest Gump saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”? That’s what it’s like when I write a book. I might think I know what’s going to happen, but I never know when one of my characters will go rogue and change everything I had planned. To some it might be annoying, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.