Influencing Your Characters Just Because You Can

This is the first time I’ve ever had my book professionally edited, and Leiah Cooper picked up something interesting.

See, I had almost finished writing my novel when something pissed me off. I don’t remember what it was exactly… oh wait, yes I do. The last manuscript I had sent off was rejected.

Yeah, that pissed me off.

I had almost finished writing The Black Swan Inheritance, a book about magic and conquering your own shortcomings with a bit of a romance slant. Actually, it had a lot of a romance slant – more than I personally liked just because I knew that sort of shit would sell. At least, that was where I was coming from when I started writing. As these things do, the characters developed a life of their own and I grew a little attached to them.

Then that other manuscript was rejected.

So what do I do? Since I was the goddess of this new world I created I decided, in the heat of the moment, I was justified in absolutely ruining the romance. Then I ended the book.

Yeah, I’m a very mature adult. Just be grateful I’m a writer and not, for instance, a mad scientist. Okay, I am a scientist, but as a geologist the best I can do is throw rocks around.

I did some of that too. And hammers.

Anyway, I finished the book. Over the course of the next few months I went back to it and edited, but somehow it never occurred to me to do justice to the relationships of the characters and give everyone closure.

Leiah brought that up.

I’m paraphrasing a little here, but she essentially asked, “Why has the main character reverted back to bitch-mode in the last few scenes?”


Because I was in bitch-mode when I wrote it.

Whoa, that was selfish of me. What was all that about authors respecting their own work? Yeah, I just threw it all out the window.

SO I am fixing that. I am going to do justice to the story. I am going to allow the characters to each have their place in the sun, to say their piece, to do what they want to do, not what I impose on them.

Aspiring writers, have you ever done this? Has something happened to you that has effectively driven you to write:



I expect George R R Martin goes through it a lot.

12 thoughts on “Influencing Your Characters Just Because You Can

  1. O.M.G.!! I am squeeing around like a preteen, tickled to death at your post. I am so glad you liked my edit and took my comments to heart. I am so proud!

    OK all you out there – watch out for The Black Swan Inheritance. Even though I gave her author a good ‘poke’ in my edit – it is still going to be a GREAT BOOK!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. HaHa! I love that last sentence about George R R Martin!

    It does hurt when we are rejected and I’m glad you’re a geologist and not a virologist for example 🙂 And can I just add, I love geologists. I was studying an Open University degree in Geosciences – I know, going way off topic, but I’m blogging from my laptop as opposed from my phone as I usually do – a few years ago and passed all my level one courses but decided to take a year off to see if I could write a novel and I never looked back. I’d like to one day, but for now, the writing has me hook line and sinker.

    Going back to your point, we are very emotional about our work aren’t we. What happened I think you will easily be able to fix. I’m an editor. As in I hate first drafting and love reworking because I have that framework I already put down so I can mostly see where I have made an error through emotion. But, it is hard to see when we are emotional. Good luck!

    That’s it, I’m finished now. Better go read some more blogs before I go edit my own work to death some more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it! And yes, I think I am well on my way to fixing it. Which means I haven’t exactly started yet (not on that specific part) but I have gone back and read the previous scenes and my reaction was “aw, he was so sweet! How could I have done this to him?” Doesn’t bode well for any romantic entanglements I might have in the future…
      What a funny coincidence you studied geology too! Actually I’m all a bit sick of it now so I’m going to be a teacher next year. But I shall always be a scientist! Muahahahahaha! *cue lightning*


  3. I don’t think I’ve ever changed anything permanently with a bad mood. When I’m angry I usually write faster, but the tone of the writing doesn’t change. I have done things like “SHE GOES AND GETS HER HURR DID BY DEM GIRLS” rather than writing a scene I didn’t feel like writing at the moment, but I always went back and fixed it :p


  4. I’m gonna start writing my first book from Nov. and I totally understand what you mean when you say “ROCKS FALL. EVERYONE DIES.” I haven’t even started with the final docs and already I feel like it!
    You are amazeballs and I love your honesty… I’m sure that your book is fabulous and if you don’t mind me saying, I’d very much like to review it for my readers. Please let me know whenever you are ready with the book. I’m waiting eagerly for your book’s release 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve actually done this on certain occasions with my first book. I think at the end of a few chapters I was a bit pissed off with the characters that I had created because their relationship with other characters was weak, or it was someone I knew in my life and they magically turned into a total ass. So I would kill them off because I was pissed off that I was stuck with this character in my book. it wasn’t till I talked to my editor about it and she said that I shouldn’t do that. So now, I put my anger towards fight scenes and epic battles so I can tame what ever I’m feeling towards that character. On occasion they my lose a limb but that’s just revenge.

    Hope your writing gets better. Good luck with the publishing process!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. This is seriously hilarious on one hand, and seriously thought-provoking on another. Thank you so much for sharing. Sorry it got rejected, but way to go on getting your other one professionally edited. I am so proud of you for continually expanding and hoping; I hope God rewards your perseverance. I am impressed by your tenacity! I will be recalling it for personal inspiration when I try to get my first complete draft out in the spring! I have to leave for class in 10 minutes, but I wanted to come get a taste of your hilarity before setting off. I have missed your posts so much! Expect comment overload later on today, haha, because for ONCE IN MY LIFE (slight exaggeration, but only slight) I don’t have to work tonight. So that means I can actually read your blog! You are going to see a major stat spike from America, haha! Have a great day!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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