Daily Archives: January 20, 2020

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One of my characters unexpectedly showed up in my dreams last night.

January 20, 2020 by in category Writing

This always seems to happen when I’m about half way through writing a new book. It’s not something that I plan for. And yet, it always takes me by surprise. Although clearly it shouldn’t, because, as I said, it seems to happen every time I’m about half way through writing a new book.

I start dreaming about the various players I’ve created. Sometimes they look just like I’ve envisioned and sometimes they surprise me with a different appearance, style or mannerism. They just feel different than I thought they should.  And that new twist usually freaks me out, sending me spiraling in self-doubt. Do I need to revamp a character or rethink my storyline?

In the past, most of my books came to life rather quickly. I didn’t  necessarily plan things out the way some authors do. I just sat down and wrote. I spent hours with my butt in my chair dreaming and writing and dreaming some more as my story evolved. And it was usually just one or two of my minor characters who popped up in my dreams demanding  consideration.

But this time was different. This storyline has been percolating in my brain for about a year.  I knew what I wanted to write about, I had my main character’s name and I had a sense of where I wanted to take the story. But I also knew that this story would require some research as my character was an artist with some “special” abilities.

As I am not an artist and don’t have a hint of artistic skill hiding inside of me, I had my work cut out for me. I didn’t know the lingo or the tools involved in painting a portrait, something I quickly realized I needed if this story was ever going to work. Oh, and those “special” abilities my main character, Pandora Twissleman has – well, I had to learn more about those too. Yes, I had an exciting idea that I was looking forward to pursuing. I wanted to creatively paint my story, but I also needed to be accurate, realistic and believable.

Unfortunately, I think this time, I might have gone a bit too far down the rabbit hole and gotten lost in all of  the research details. I apparently didn’t give enough attention to the soul, the inner workings of my main character. So when Pandora showed up in my dreams last night, I was immediately concerned.  Oh, she looked like I thought she should. She had the right hair and eye color and facial features. But this Pandora had attitude, something I had never even considered giving her.

It really gave me reason to pause. Why did I dream that? Do I want her to have attitude? And what happens if I don’t give her any? Will she haunt my dreams until I give her at least a smidgen?

I think I need to take a step back today, put my butt in my chair and think, dream and consider more options before I continue down this writing trail. Hopefully Pandora and I can get our heads together soon and I can finish this new book before it turns into a real nightmare.

Happy New Year and pleasant dreams to you all!


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