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Sunday, March 11, 2012

When a story line just doesn't work

Have you ever thought of a plot  and then discovered that it just doesn't work?

No matter how you try to push and prod your characters, they're just not telling the story the way you want it to be told. So, what do you do?
Abandon ship.

Yes. Let. It. Go.

This happened to me with Devon Harris and Alicia Michaels, two characters from my series. Devon, who kept whispering to me that he had a story to be told, needed his own book. The sexy chef is a woman's dream, great cook, big hands and heart of gold. Now, he's no saint. He did cheat on Kandace Davis and break her heart. I tried to put the couple back together at one point. 

That didn't work either. I believe in second chances at love, I even wrote a book about it. (Product plug: Second Chances At Love) But reuniting Kandace and Devon was cliche. I tried to create a hook and it all fell flat.
Sometimes, you create a dynamic character that deserves a story that will show their growth and why you fell in love with them in the first place.

Which brings me to the second failed storyline involving Devon, hooking him up with Alicia. Gasp! I was about 50 pages in when I realized, these characters were in a story that didn't even look like something they would be involved in. Alicia dating her best friend's ex? Devon embarking on a relationship that had the potential to destroy the family-like atmosphere at Hometown Delights?
Nah. That wasn't going to happen. I tried to force it to happen. They went salsa dancing and they even kissed, but the story just didn't feel right. It was so out of character for Devon and Alicia. And trying to figure out how Jade, Serena and Kandace would respond, well, I felt friendships breaking up. I couldn't let that happen.

Thank goodness for Marie Charles.

At the end of the day, you have to be true to the characters you create. Even through they are fictional, they sill have certain traits that are important to telling a full and well rounded story. If your character hates pork, you can't just have him or her suddenly eat a pork chop sandwich because his or her love interest runs a pig farm.

3 comments:

Lacy said...

That's great advice...thank you so much...

AuroraStorm

CherisH said...

You're welcome, lady. I'm glad it helps.

Cheena Brown said...

I'm sure whatever you decide we the readers will anxiously enjoy every page of the story about Alicia micheals!:).