Good morning, Lisa here. February is Romance Month here at Urban Fantasy Land! Each Thursday during the month of February we will have a guest blog from the romance side of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.
Please welcome today’s guest blogger: Jackie Kessler. Leave a comment to win a signed copy of Hell’s Bells! I’ll pick a winner at random from the comments on Monday, Feburary 9th.
Declaring Their Intentions
By Jackie Kessler
Some people think that when you’re an author, you know what the characters you’re writing about are going to do. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that the author would know the goal, the motivation, and the conflict — and would intimately get who the characters are, right?
Uh huh. Lemme tell you, the characters have other ideas. Especially when love is involved.
Yes, I know — this sounds like I better talk to my doctor and increase my meds. But here’s how it works: the authors write, and the characters correct. At least, that’s how it works for me. Whenever I try taking a story in a direction that doesn’t work — for the story overall, or for individual characters — some part of me rebels and winds up giving me writer’s block. Usually preceded by an argument with my characters.
Take Daunuan. (That’s pronounced “Don Juan,” sort of.) He’s an incubus, which means he’s all about the sex. Period. No such thing as love. Demons, after all, **don’t** love. When I first started writing HELL’S BELLES, Daun was going to be the heroine’s demonic fuckbunny and no more — no real feelings between the two of them. (Actually, when I was first fleshing out the story, Daun was going to have a very different role, which would have had the book end very, very differently than it did.) But…well, that just didn’t work. Daun wouldn’t hear of it. So by the second book, THE ROAD TO HELL, his feelings for Jezebel become very clear — to the reader, at any rate. He and Jesse are still pretty clueless about the whole “love” thing. (Demons: scary as all get out, but dumber than a bag of rocks when it comes to human emotions.) And by the third book, Daun — no longer a secondary character — learns the hard way about what love can mean.
That’ll show him. Hah. Maybe he refused to be a minor character, and he went and fell for the heroine of the series. But I’ll be damned if I make it easy for him.
But the characters don’t make it easy for the authors, either. At least, they don’t make it easy for me. Daun, again: When I was making breakfast for my boys, I suddenly knew, just knew, exactly how HOTTER THAN HELL had to end. And never mind that I’d only written about half of the book, and the scene I was so clearly envisioning had been nowhere in my outline. So I had to run out of kitchen and race to my computer and write the last scene of the book, right then and there. With Daun laughing the entire time.
But hey — when people fall in love, we’re not exactly reasonable, are we? We do stupid things for love sometimes. It stands to reason that our characters would do the same. When they declare their intentions, authors have to listen. And ultimately, that makes a better story for the readers.
Now please excuse me: I have to go throw Daunuan into the Lake of Fire for a couple of centuries.
Would you like to win a signed copy of HELL’S BELLES? Go ahead and comment about one unreasonable thing you’ve done for love — or that characters you’ve read about have done for love. One winner will be picked at random on Monday, February 9th.
Places to find Jackie: