Genesis of a Novel – Part VI – Characters Going Awry

This is the next installment of a series of posts I’ve been writing, following the process of writing a novel from conception through publication and beyond.

I started pre-writing Misfortune of Vision on July 23, 2016. On August 23, I started actually writing the first scene. Now, a week later, I’m 14,000 words in and going strong! I usually try to give myself a minimum of 2,000 a day. If I miss that, not too bad – I can usually make it up the next day or so. If I have too many misses, though, I have to give myself a stern talking to. Or at least admit that life has gotten the better of me and adjust my expectations.

One novel I wrote (Call of the Morrigu) fought hard against that 2000 word a day minimum. I had to adjust her to 1000 words a day and be happy with that. Nevertheless, she came through in the end.
Now that I’m into the ‘meat’ of my novel, my characters are beginning to come to life. Sometimes they come to life in ways I wasn’t counting on. For instance, my main character, Orla, is becoming even more bitter and sarcastic than I had first thought. And Clodagh has some sort of PSTD, probably from a childhood molestation. She also has manifested her gift of the Sight earlier than I had anticipated.
My antagonist, Declan, has turned into a sympathetic main character in his own right, with his own antagonist. The smith, Trygve, is becoming a great character. First a mentor, teaching Declan some basics of the blacksmithing art, then he becomes the Bad Guy by trying to take Declan’s girl. It’s all becoming much more complex than I had originally planned.
This is a good thing!
Even the best planner cannot plan EVERYTHING in their novel. I find it much easier to let the characters speak to me. At one point, I was going to have Declan pull a Jean Val Jean, and steal from a priest who was kind to him. He told me on no uncertain terms that he was not that desperate, thank you very much. The priest was kind and he was honorable… at least for now.
Yes, this may mean adding scenes, deleting them, adding characters, changing subplots, and maybe even changing part of your main plot. Go with it. Your muse speaks through you and your characters. Go with the flow! Any other cliches I can throw out here? Oh, I know… Let it go!
More parts:


I write historical fantasy novels, mostly set in Ireland, and a contemporary romance based on my parents’ 30-year search for true love. Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.

More info at Green Dragon Artist :: Home ,

Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author , and

Tirgearr Publishing – Christy Nicholas

Green Dragon Artist Blog

Celtic Fairies, Fables, and Folklore! Bestselling author (top #100 Amazon Canada, #1 in Paranormal Fantasy, Amazon Canada) Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, is an author, artist and accountant. After she failed to become an airline pilot, she quit her ceaseless pursuit of careers that begin with 'A', and decided to concentrate on her writing. Since she has Project Completion Disorder, she is one of the few authors with NO unfinished novels. Christy has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She wants to expose the incredible beauty in this world, hidden beneath the everyday grime of familiarity and habit, and share it with others. She uses characters out of time and places infused with magic and myth. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad. Facebook: Homepage: Blog: Twitter:

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Posted in History, Writing
16 comments on “Genesis of a Novel – Part VI – Characters Going Awry

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