Saying No to the Wrong Main Character

It’s weird being home on the computer so much during a holiday weekend.  Kind of feel like I’m the only one, but I’m pretty sure a lot of writers feel this way.  This particular weekend, it’s more about letting the tummy heal, but it’s not that far out of the norm really.   I started finishing books when I learned to say no. 

This had to be the most difficult thing I had to learn.  I have a seriously hard time saying no.  (Even to my kids–which is a bad, bad thing. <g>)  Well, I did.   I have a huge family, lots of wonderful friends I’d love nothing more than to hang with… but I REALLY, REALLY want writing to be my career.  So, I play less. 

Luckily, I quickly realized that once the writing becomes the fun, saying no gets easier.  

So, yesterday,  I promised to share writing and I will soon.  Once again, I had a bit of trouble which is so out of effing character for me when I’m this excited about something, I started to wonder if maybe putting off finishing book two in my first series was the problem.  You see, I’m also excited about Blood of an Ancient and man, I look forward to digging deep into the meat of the story, but still want to wait and make sure my prospective editor approves the proposal.  (Positive.  Thinking.  Good.)

But working on different projects hasn’t been a problem in the past for me, so no, I figured that wasn’t the issue.   

This new book, which we’ll call WTT for now, was to be the start of a new series and man, I have to say it’s one of my coolest ideas. <g>  But I started, then started again.  I wrote about the that difficulty here.  So, yesterday, I looked over all my research notes and realized why I had started the book three times.  It was supposed to be my hero’s book.  He is the reason for the cool title.  But the more I looked things over, the more I realized this is the beginning of a trilogy about three eighteen year-old triplets who are basically the norns reborn.


It can still be his story, but my heroine needs to have the main voice.  She was chaffing under the restraints I’d placed on her.  Oh, and my original main character?  He’s strong enough and easygoing enough to be completely entertained by the idea… and her.  Yay!  (BTW, these will be urban fantasy, but they’ll also hold a pretty strong love story–or stories. ) 

So in a nutshell, sometimes a story doesn’t start well because it’s not that character’s story.  Sounds weird, I know.  I mean, I’m the writer.  I made this story up, right?  I can do whatever I want with it, right?  Yeah, I did and yeah, I can.  But a good story wriggles about, squeezes into corners, then flows into a pattern that’s all its own. 

A good story tells itself.

So occasionally, a writer must just say no to the original idea, dump over seven thousand words (ouch) and go with the flow.  I’m not worried.  When it’s flowing, seven thousand words is chump change.

Added:  For an interesting take on wiggle vs. wriggle, here’s a cool article.


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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