Out of Control Secondary Characters

So the past few weeks I’ve had a time in hell with my current WIP. I’d been going so strong with this book, writing almost 40k in a little over a month. (And for me, that’s a crazy amount. I’m so not a prolific writer, no matter how badly I want to be one. LOL.) With the way I was knocking this story out, I believed I’d have the first draft done in less than six weeks. Yay!

Then I hit Chapter 8 and everything fell apart. I couldn’t figure out why the storyline was no longer working, why nothing no longer felt right, why I’d lost the drive to write. So I avoided the story. I did open it up over the last few weeks, only to stare at the pages, get frustrated because I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong, and close it again.

Yesterday, I finally figured it out. You see, I have this secondary character named Brody in the story. He’s an extreme fighter, who really dominates my attention when he walks onto the page. The problem is he is also dominating the story. I had it in my head the issue was with my heroine or hero, so I focused on them. They weren’t the problem. Brody was, and then, of course, my hero’s reaction to Brody wasn’t ringing true because Brody was out of control.

I had to take the control back. I’m a pantser to the core. I believe in letting the characters do what they will and see where things lead. For the most part, this mind frame works for me, although, every once in awhile I do hit a snag. Like now.

I had to have a little talk with Brody about his behavior. He fought me at first, it’s just his nature, but he did finally relent after I promised him he would get his own story—just not this one. This is Tommy’s story and Brody needed to suck it up and let Tommy have center stage.

So after cutting almost 1500 words yesterday (I hate cutting words!) I feel like the story is back on the right track. I also woke up this morning ready to write. This makes me happy.

Have you ever had a secondary character try to control the story?

Esme
1 Response
  1. Tina Beckett Says:

    I've definitely had secondary characters take over...and yep, most of the time I had to promise him his own story.

    But I have to admit, Brody is one intriguing character!


  • Stolen by a Highland Rogue

    Stolen by a Highland Rogue
    Vonda Sinclair 8/27/16

    Highlander Unbroken

    Highlander Unbroken
    Vonda Sinclair 5/10/16

    Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply

    Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply
    Terry Spear 5/3/16

    Conqueror Vanquished

    Conqueror Vanquished
    Leigh Court, 4/26/16

    Taken by a Navy SEAL

    Taken by a Navy SEAL
    Carly Carson 9/5/2016

    The Viking's Highland Lass

    The Viking's Highland Lass
    Terry Spear 4/4/16

    SEAL Wolf In Too Deep

    SEAL Wolf In Too Deep
    Terry Spear 2/2/16

    Programmed For Power

    Programmed For Power
    Jenna Ives, 10/25/15

    Taming the Wild Cougar

    Taming the Wild Cougar
    Terry Spear 10/20/15

    Her Royal Mistake

    Her Royal Mistake
    Natasha Moore 8/20/15

    SEAL Wolf Hunting

    SEAL Wolf Hunting
    Terry Spear 7/7/15

    Her Royal Rendezvous

    Her Royal Rendezvous
    Natasha Moore, 10/5/14

    The Cottage Next Door

    The Cottage Next Door
    Natasha Moore, 9/16/14

    Playing For Real

    Playing For Real
    Natasha Moore, 2/4/14

    Dragon Song

    Dragon Song
    Cameo, 3/11/13

    The Snow Job

    The Snow Job
    Cameo, 2/13/13