Every November, for the last four Novembers, I have participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). And in the weeks leading up to the challenge, I work hard to plan out my novel, constantly adding to and readjusting my outline. Every year I say to my characters "You are not going to hijack my plot. You're going to do as I say and you're going to like. Do I make myself clear?"
And every year my characters hijack the plot. Those little rebellious beings are just so confident that they have a better idea for my storyline. Before I thought it was a female thing, that somehow, the character's sex influences their rebellious-ness. This time around my MC was male and, well, here is a non-exhaustive list of the little surprises that came while writing Bounded.
1. Sir Bushy Tail, Gift of Gab. Also known as my talking squirrel with a sarcastic sense of humor. I love this character, really I do, but for awhile he made my sci-fi story look more like fantasy. Not to worry, though. I found a way to keep him and still keep the sci-fi.
2. The Sanders kicked my MC out of their home. How dare they do that to their own son! Now how is he supposed to find out that you’re cyborgs instead of humans?
3. Speaking of fake humans, that’s what his American Literature teacher ended up being. And here I thought it was just Mr. Johnson, the Advanced Engineering teacher.
4. Detention. I didn’t think that would need to exist in this city, but apparently it does.
5. The introduction of Caleb and Ike. Resulted from number four.
6. Sam, the main character, no longer talks like a guy. I read his dialogue and, to me, it sounds so much like a girl. And it sounds like he has a crush on Caleb. Then again, I can’t blame Sam. Caleb, after all, looks like a cross between Steven Straight and Taylor Lautner ;)
Of course, most of these accidents worked out for the better, but for once I would like to have complete control over my characters. Is that too much to ask?