Saturday, October 26, 2013

Giving Plot to the Plotless (Part 1: The Affair)

So, as we have discussed in the intro to this venture, my friend and I only meant to write one scene between these characters, just out of curiosity. We'll call them R and A, for the purposes of this post. Character R and A had established lives at the time of this scene because they belonged to our separate stories. In fact, they both already had love interests. They were in pairing we were quite proud of actually. We fully shipped the pairings we had created. And love triangles weren't our thing.

Before I began writing this, I'd never had the problem of having characters 'go rogue' so to speak. They sometimes developed in ways that surprised me but I always had a good idea who they were from the start. People often talk about their characters taking the reigns from them and driving them in another direction. I always thought this was a funny, exaggeration of sorts.

It is not.

In the midst of writing our sixth scene between these characters, they were having a rather emotional discussion after A had been disturbed by a nightmare. We wrote the scene as usual and finished it. But then my friend and I facebooked each other at about the same time: I feel like a kiss should have been there.

Our characters were bizarrely attracted to each other. Even though they were in happy relationships. We questioned this phenomenon for a moment and then decided to go for it. It wasn't like it was going to go anywhere.

A few scenes later our characters, A and R, were officially in an affair. Behind our backs. We just kept on writing scenes with them and they kept wanting romantic moments. Did we give them permission to do that? NO! In fact a few scenes earlier, before the first kiss, we talked about how they would NEVER be in any sort of romantic relationship. They were perfectly happy where they were. We're in total control of our characters anyway.


No, apparently not. A and R decided to go rogue. And it was this first kiss between them, this "Literary Affair" that lead to about 2,000 pages worth of material. From two writers who don't write romance. And all because, each time we got an idea, we let our characters take the reigns. And we got a lovely mass of words because of it.

We also didn't get very much homework or sleep done, but that's beside the point.

Tune in next time for Part 2: The Love Kite

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