Sunday, January 2, 2011

That's not my happily ever after, you crazy lady

One night, I went to bed feeling peaceful, happy even. I had just resolved a lot of tension in my novel and momentarily given a character a happy ending (because how long do happily ever afters really last).

But a terrible realization struck me at three in the morning. Eva, the character, that I had just happily married didn’t want to talk to me...and hadn't in a long time. Seeing as she wasn’t typically quiet unless she was mad or sad, I was absolutely panicked.

I figured I’d better figure out what was wrong.

Me: Eva, we haven’t talked in awhile.


Eva: I know.


Me: Want to tell me what’s wrong?


Silence. Trying to pry anything out of her is nearly impossible.


Alana: You have gone and married her off to the wrong guy. I mean he’s nice and all but Eva can’t marry him.


So by this point, I’m absolutely floored. 1. Alana only speaks when she feels it is really important. And 2. She doesn’t even know Eva yet. But she was absolutely right (even though I didn’t want to admit it yet).


Me: What? I thought you liked him?


Eva: Well I do, but just as a friend.


Me: But you just married him? Why didn’t you say something sooner?


Eva: Well Alana is being difficult enough for the both of us. And I tried, but you didn’t want to listen.


She had a point there.


Me: Why don’t you love him?

And she told me. I sat and listened as she allowed me to delve deeper into her past, her childhood, her hopes, her dreams, her friends, and her true feelings for the guy I had mistakenly married her to.

To my surprise, I realized she was right. She couldn’t marry him, because she was in love with another guy and just didn’t realize it yet.

A year later, I’m still trying to bring them together. A little difficult considering he hasn’t been introduced in the novel yet and a epiphany that resulted in complete chapters being ripped up and rewritten.

But I learned an important lesson that day. When characters stop talking to you, find out why. Take the time to listen. Even if it takes months to follow the new idea, follow it. Because characters are typically right.

And whatever you do, don’t give your characters a happily ever after before they are ready for it. They won’t ever let you live it down.

In Eva’s words, “That’s not my happily ever after, you crazy lady.”

3 comments:

  1. Eva seems like a very nice character. I can't wait until I meet her and maybe she can tame Alana.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, when do we get to meet Eva?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Eventually, in part two of The Chosen One...she's one of my favorites. Of course, they are all my favorites.

    As for Alana, nobody could tame her.

    ReplyDelete

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