I’m the Author Goddess…

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.

I am the Author Goddess, therefore, I rule the universes that I’ve created. The characters are my minions. They exist to do my bidding.

I tell myself this all the time. And it’s true.  Sort of. I am the creator of their world. Sometimes benevolent, sometimes a dictator.

Writers all do this. We fabricate new worlds with new rules. Even if it’s the “here and now” world, we still add our own spin to it. We make the facts fit the story as we need to tell it.  We ask our characters to do things normal people often can’t or won’t do. And most of the time, the characters go along for the happy (or miserable) journey.

Occasionally, they resist or flat-out refuse. They stamp their feet and demand to go in a different direction.

A rebellion in my carefully crafted plans. How dare they? I’m the Author Goddess. They must do my bidding.

Right?

Not really.

Sure, you can ignore your characters and force them to follow your “master plan”. But, just like in real life, it’s not right to make someone do something they don’t want to (making the kids clean up after themselves doesn’t count). When in this situation, instead of indignation, try going along for the ride.

Let the character take you on the journey they want to go on.  Travel their path and see it to the end. They could surprise you and even open the story up in ways you never imagined.

What kind of world builder are you? Benevolent? Mean? How do your characters rule your world?

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33 thoughts on “I’m the Author Goddess…”

  1. Interesting post, Casey. Since I’m mostly a pantser, my characters pretty much do as they please and I try to keep up. I usually have an idea where they are headed, so I try to gently guide them before they go too far astray or get into trouble that I can’t get them out of–much like children and puppies.

    1. Characters can be that way sometimes, but that’s also what makes them fun. There have been times I’ve typed of scenes and then not used them. Sometimes that satisfies me and the characters (not always!).

  2. Wow, so far I’m the one off the group here. I’m a dictator – my characters do what I want or it’s off with their heads. I haven’t had a character head off the reservation yet…I have had a situation where I expected a character to have spin off responsibilities, but I decided that he/she had to die…it’s a problem for my spin off, but not insurmountable…

    1. Viv, you monster! You could always have that now dead character come back as a ghost, or through some kind of magic. He/she’s only “mostly dead.”

    2. I bet you would enjoy playing the Sims 3 (or the earlier versions). You get to create people then play as nicely or not as you want. The game is a load of fun. I stay away from it now since hours can pass easily while playing it.

      Oh and your dead sims can come back as ghosts to haunt you!

  3. When I started my first novel in earnest, I had a few characters in mind and what I thought was a basic plot, but was really just a starting point. Like a working hypothesis in science. But as I began writing, I quickly realized that my main character was not behaving at all like I thought she was going to, and the story changed into something completely different. Letting go of control, and letting events unfold and characters develop as they wanted, turned out to be the key for me to finally finish a manuscript. That being said, now that I’m working on the second book, I must exert some power once again to keep continuity in the story arc. May the Goddess live in all of us . . .

  4. Casey, what a great post. Your followers are so fascinating. I am in midstream with my first book, and already my characters are abandoning the smoking room, and instead, onto the terrace. Their dialog has evolved from one subject to another. All this keeps my creative juices flowing. I am enjoying the intrigue of my decisions, however temporary or firm. These decisions are as permanent as paint on a wall. They are only words on a page, paint on a wall, and can be changed in a moment for a different look. What is so great about being a writer/designer, you are in control, ummm, aren’t you?

    1. Thanks Gail! There are times when I just let things play out and figure out what to do with it later. As far as control, so far the consensus is that characters can and do take on a life of their own. Which is not always a bad thing.

  5. I have to go along with the majority here. My characters know where they are going and by allowing them to walk their own path the story flows easier. But, I get them back in re-writes Bwahahahahaha.

    1. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for you Ms. Fusco – you don’t suck! And since you miss writing fiction, take it as a sign that you should go back to it – even if it’s to make yourself happy! I bet your characters are colluding with The Doubt Monster to mess with your head. Are you going to let them get away with that?

      1. I second that Casey! I doubt Ms. Marketing Maven Fusco, the queen of getting inside people’s heads and figuring out what makes them part with their money and keep doing it over and over (brand loyalty), sucks at fiction writing. Here is one instance where the Doubt Monster might be useful.

      1. no and blog threats don’t help either. It is strictly one-sided like many things seem to be. :) lol

  6. I used to let my characters go where they wanted but that always, ALWAYS ends up with me doing massive rewrites and a total mess of a plot. I keep them firmly in line like they are a bunch of naughty 7 year olds.

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