Tuesday, March 25, 2008

THERE ARE PLENTY OF FISH IN THE SEA...

At least that's what my mother always said each time a boy broke up with me...

I didn't believe her until I moved aboard ORION and discovered that yes, there ARE plenty of fish in the sea...
While I have my feet up and devour bonbons as it is SPRING BREAK I will wax philosophical.
The characters in my current novel are wildly uncooperative. They are totally unmanageable. Was it something I said? Was it something I did? Maybe I was too lax. Too permissive.
My husband said I needed to take a firmer hand with them when they were younger.
"Look at HOLLY KENNEDY'S characters!" He said "They don't act like that."
It's true.
Other author's characters are exemplary citizens. They're passing their classes. Attending good universities. Marrying excellent spouses who are doctors and lawyers.
Not mine.
Mine are spending nights going from bar to bar. Sleeping until noon. Unemployed or in the process of getting laid off.
No morals. Untrustworthy.
I know for a fact they're stealing from me. I had a twenty-dollar bill in my purse just yesterday and now it's gone.
What's a writer to do?
I've sacrificed everything for them and this is how they repay me.
I have WAY TOO much imagination today.
Anyway.
It's just like the fish. There are plenty of characters out there to choose from.
I think it's time to turn mine back in and pick out another batch.
What about you?
How do you punish unruly characters?

20 comments:

Mary said...

Stop talking to them, completely ignore them, change the locks, and keep valuables in a fireproof safe. ;)

Heidi the Hick said...

I relish their unruliness!

They get to do stuff I could never bring myself to do...

mlh said...

Boy, your characters have a lot of, well, character."

Besides hiding the pina colada, there's not much else I can do.

Kim Stagliano said...

If they ain't delightful they get a deleteful!

Had a love interest = man was he a schmuck! GONE. Had another cop - so boring and what a third wheel? Roll away and be gone!

Are the fish pretty today?

ChristineEldin said...

LOL!!!
My current project is all about punishments. My query waiting on EE's blog to be ripped to shreds.
Love punishments! How many do you need?

Holly Kennedy said...

Ack! They're just testing you.
Toss them aside and... they win.
Give them mini facelift or a firm attitude adjustment and they'll fall in line.

I say work with the unruly group you've got. It's a good story.

Morgan Dempsey said...

For me it usually means I'm trying to make them do something they wouldn't do. So I try to think what that action implies about their character, and see if I can either tweak the character to fit the action or tweak the action to fit the character.

Either that or I beat them with a sack of sweet Valencia oranges. It won't leave a mark, and it'll let 'em know who's boss.

ORION said...

Oranges!!! Of course!

Travis Erwin said...

I leave them to languish in limbo on my hard drive.

Or change their name sometimes that brings 'em around.

Lisa R said...

I let my cats deal with them. Tear the pages to shreds and scatter them to the four corners of my house. That teaches them a valuable lesson and keeps the kitties entertained for hours.

Chumplet said...

The good characters are boring. Nothing like a troublemaker to make your day interesting.

Fishies... my goldfish is sick. Again. She's losing her tailfins. Boo hoo.

writtenwyrdd said...

I punish unruly characters by following them around to see where they will take me. They are much smarter than I am that way.

Manic Mom said...

Aren't you supposed to have these unruly characters who create all these problems and then in the end they're supposed to find a way to fix themselves? See, you're totally ON THE RIGHT TRACK!!!

If the characters were behaving, you wouldn't have a book. You would have a paper doll to dress up.

Manic Mom said...

Oh, and regarding fish... Tukey came home from a birthday party the other day, a carnival themed party--the goody prize--a goldfish! We have no pets. I managed to fall in love with Sneakers/Speedo/Swimmers/Splash/Slash (yep, that was his name(s)) for the six days he lived in our home.

And you wonder why we have no pets.

So, I am very glad there are plenty of fish in the sea!

ORION said...

On no Manic!!
As to my characters...Holly I think you're right...
I'd hate to think I was a pushover.

The Anti-Wife said...

Just tell them you're the boss and they WILL shape up or else you'll use your secret weapon - the delete key! Or, even worse - the backspace - robbing them of their personality one letter at a time. Pure evil.

liz fenwick said...

Delete the last scene or two where things have gone wrong and devise evil twists for them to make them suffer for my loss of words L-)

Maprilynne said...

You ARE so creative!!! I am a little worried though. Are your unruly characters ruining your next book? When you talk about swapping them out for new ones does it mean you're shelving a book and starting a new one?!?!? (Now that I'm actually an "author" *snort* that thought seems about at serious as actually losing a family member!)
Best of luck!! (And I loved your comparison.;))

Jennifer said...

I kill 'em off and ressucitate them as zombies.

:-)

Merry Monteleone said...

"How do you punish unruly characters?"

Mwa-ha-ha... the possibilities are endless... mother in law who visits and never leaves, love interest with chronic flatulence... you name it, I can write it... and when they get really annoying I can make them lose all their money and develop a really bad tick...

Seriously, though, I want to read about the characters who sleep til noon and drink too much - they sound way more interesting than the ones who marry well.