Shut Up and Do Something Already!

It is day four of my writing adventure.  Yes, I know it is 9:37 and I’ve yet to write a word on my novel today, but in a minute I’ll take Lady Macbeth‘s advice to her husband and “screw my courage to the sticking place” and get on with it.  I knew when I began writing this novel that my first draft was going to be less than stellar.  Okay, it was going to be crap!  But I didn’t know how quickly these characters would take over and start writing their own novel, not the version I had in my head.  My exciting main plot is getting little attention because their secondary stories are taking over.  All they want to do is yammer all day long.  They talk and talk and talk and never seem to do anything.  Ack!  Are they a mirror of my life?

You would think I would have more control, wouldn’t you?  After all, I created these people.  I gave them life.  They should be a little more appreciative and do what I want them to do once in awhile.  I really do care about their emotional well-being, but if they are having problems, they need to get counseling on their own time and give me back my story.  I have things for them to do and places for them to go.  I don’t have time for their boo-hooing.

Today I vow to get tough with them.  Sorry, guys, but you’ve left me no choice.  If you don’t cooperate, I may have to kill one of you off…


Yesterday I wrote 3, 682 words.  My grand total for the first three days of writing is 11,011.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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32 Responses to Shut Up and Do Something Already!

  1. You are awesome! I am so proud of you for taking this leap. You are my inspiration.

  2. gingerclub says:

    I think you are doing pretty terrific! Your characters are taking a life on their own – this means, they are alive, doesn`t it. You can still audit it at the end! Congratulations on your determination:-)


  3. Emily says:

    Wow! You’ve written a lot in a short period of time! As for your characters getting distracted and wandering off in every direction, well — they kind of remind me of my children.

    Happy Writing!

  4. E.C. says:

    Awesome. I love it when characters take on a life of their own, although I agree it can get out of control. lol Congratulations on your great achievement of writing so far. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, E.C. I’ve got to hit it hard now before I lose interest (or my characters do) or Thanksgiving week comes and I’m not going to write when I’m with my children and grandchildren.

  5. pattisj says:

    I’m just trying to meet the goal of 50,000 words! I’d let them talk all they want! lol You’re doing a great job, Susan! Words are words this month, they all count.

  6. oldereyes says:

    That’s a sizeable chunk of writing, my friend! Keep it up. I know you probably don’t want to write like Stephen King, but in his “On Writing”, he suggests letting your characters have at it. There’s probably a happy medium but I’ve always found my characters have something to show me.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks for the advice, Bud. Since I know you’ve written novels (plural) before, I welcome it. I may as well let them have their say, and then I’ll take my story back in the rewrites.

  7. You, my friend, crack me up! You are every bit as entertaining as those characters must be in your novel. 😉 Just show them who’s the boss!

  8. Judith says:

    Susan – congratulations. Your tally keeps rising.
    I have never even completed a first draft so you are way out front of me. The one on which I was working until the other day, was full of wooden characters who allowed me to determine where they went and what they said. I would rather have your cast of unruly characters than my wooden tops. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      I’ve been trying to write a completely different novel for the past three years, Judith, one that I’ve thought about writing for a long time. I started it many times but never got very far because the characters never took on a life of their own, so I’ve put it aside. My idea for the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo is one I just thought about a couple of months ago, and these characters were real right from the start. Go figure! Thanks for your comment, Judith.

  9. Margie says:

    The people in your story sound a lot like family members – and you know how much control you have over those folks!

    • Coming East says:

      Never thought of it that way, Margie. Surprisingly, your comment made me realize that most of these particular characters are not people I’ve known in real life. That usually doesn’t happen.

  10. I think 11,000 words in three days is outstanding. Don’t be so hard on yourself! And thanks for the humorous post – so true about characters taking over your stories – and no one but a writer can understand that. “Huh? How can a character write a story? He’s not real!” Well, yeah, he is. In fact, if they AREN’T real, then we really have a problem!

    • Coming East says:

      “if they AREN’T real, then we really have a problem!” Love this comment Alexandra. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t breathe life into them, and then you need to move onto another story. Luckily, I like the people in this story. Well, at least the ones you’re supposed to like. Now I have to make the reader hate the other ones.

  11. One of my dear friends, Joey, is a playwright. If there’s anything I’ve learned about characters from him, it is that they do indeed take on lives of their own, much to their author’s surprise! Have fun! Enjoy where they lead you!

    • Coming East says:

      It’s actually pretty neat when they do that, Single Cell. That’s what you hope and aim for as a writer. I just hope they know where they’re going because I sure don’t!

  12. There’s always a certain amount of rambling tangents in a first draft, but you are right to take control and keep those characters in line. And therapy is an excellent idea – I’ve stuck more than one character in a scene with a therapist just to get all the junk out so we can all move on 🙂

    Keep going – you’re doing great! Far better than you are giving yourself credit for.

  13. winsomebella says:

    I like dialogue as much as plot in a novel so I bet it is delightful. Wow–11,000 words. Congrats!

  14. Dor says:

    Keep going! Keep going! I haven’t even met your “boo-hoo” characters yet, but would like to know them. Maybe as you keep going, the book will write itself?

  15. Shary Hover says:

    You are amazing! I’m only at 5,000 words and it’s not looking like I’ll get much done in the next few days. I need to get busy!

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