Lynnette’s story began as a simple novel of suspense. The first outline had only one chapter that was not in Lynnette’s point of view. Then one of the bad guys grew bigger than the part I had given him, so I wrote some chapters from his point of view. He was only a minor bad guy, so it became necessary to give the major bad guy a bigger part in the story. Scenes from his point of view clarified the plot. I now had the outline of a multiple point of view novel written in 3rd person past tense. It was looking good.
That single original non-Lynnette point of view chapter that I mentioned in the second sentence, however, created the need for a sub-plot taking place half a country away from Lynnette’s location. Yep, I needed scenes from the cops’ point of view. There was a good cop, and her partner, and the detective with a nasty attitude. I reined this team in, thank goodness, and let the good female cop keep all the police action. It was hard pushing the bossy detective around, but the good female cop helped me out on that.
While I had my back turned, concentrating on the cops, my first minor bad guy dropped dead. What? I didn’t plan for that to happen. I loved writing scenes while pretending to be this guy–using foul language and acting like a slimeball. It was great. How could my story move forward without this guy?
Okay, I obviously had to bring another minor bad guy into the mix. He, unfortunately, showed up with a sub-plot of his own. Holy crap, I thought. Where did this guy come from and why is he messing with my plot?
I sat back today and listened to my characters fight about their roles in my (their?) novel and whether I even know what I’m doing with a story this big. They seem to want control. They want this book to be less of a suspense novel and more of a thriller, and they have some great ideas how to make it work.
Isn’t this writing gig weird?