Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let the Nightmares Begin

Those of you who've been following this blog for a while probably know I have an...interesting writing process. Basically, my characters run the show. And I mean it.

They.
Run.
The.
Show.

It's not my story. It's their story. Sure, I still manipulate certain things and throw them into situations they don't want to be in (I can be an evil puppetmaster when I want to be--mwahahahahaha). But everything that happens after that is up to them. I let them into my head, let them talk to me, listen to their music, think like them, sometimes even talk to them (but only if I'm alone--wouldn't want my husband to worry). ;)

Which makes writing fun, and not so fun all at the same time. Because, see, I have a lot of very different characters. Some I love so much I wish they were real. Some crack me up. Some break my heart. And...unfortunately...one absolutely scares the crud out of me. My villain.

Scariest freaking character on the planet, and I avoid working on anything villain related as long as possible. But the time has come.

*shudders*

I'm to the point where I have to let my villain into my head and let them run the show so I can figure out what mayhem they want to cause. I have to switch to my "Villain Playlist" on my ipod (all screaming rock music with dark lyrics). I have to try to think like them and feel what they feel.

It's NOT going to be pleasant. There WILL be nightmares.

*shivers*

But it's all part of the process so I just have to suck it up and do it. I survived it before, I can survive it again. And at least no one can say I don't sacrifice for my art. :)

How about you guys? Any of your characters scare the snot out of you? Any suggestions for how to deal? Or am I the only crazy one out there?


**Update**
Apparently my "Pre-Famous Author Interview" is live. *blushes* (The name of the interview puts a lot of pressure on me to actually become famous now. *sighs*) If you want to learn some embarrassing/weird things about me hop on over to Anne Riley's blog to check it out.

39 comments:

  1. Maybe a cup of tea and a blankie?? *smiles* I haven't had a character that scares me to shivers yet, but I do have one that creeps me out. She's my villain and, well, she's literally insane. Anymore said??

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  2. I like your creative process.

    I think I would always want to be in control of my characters--I see that as a limitation though.

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  3. I guess it's good because you really know your characters. I have more control of mine, which is maybe why I struggle with character development.

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  4. I can't read or write scary. Even just the thought of it sends my heart racing. I have never read Stephen King (or seen any of his movies) which is a pity. I can't even have a surprise party. Just the thought of someone jumping out at me -- ugh!

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  5. Yes they scare the crap out of me!!! I have my MC who is a serial killer and he terrifies me!! I have nightmares constantly about what he's done to his victims (no I'm not a psychic...these are just dreams, lol)

    I am relieved that I'm not the only one who is controlled by their characters!

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  6. You're a method writer...I love it! Just be careful. Remember what happened to method-actress Jennifer Jason Leigh when she played the part of an undercover narcotics agent who becomes addicted in RUSH. She temporarily fell into true drug addiction herself and had to go to rehab. So don't go killing anyone real for the sake of your art ;-)

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  7. My villain is based off of an actual person, and he scared the crap out of me in life, so yeah, writing about him makes me pee a little.

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  8. Now I'm all depressed. I don't have a scary villan that scares the snot out of me. But that would be so cool to be able to create someone that even intimidated me. I'm going to have to play with some darker fiction and see if I could create someone menacing.

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  9. Gosh you are a wicked puppet master with that scary laugh! :-)

    I think I enjoy being a villain in my fiction writing (such as it is! LOL!) purely for the joy of being totally BAD and the freedom of being completely rotten! :-)

    I'm a nice person in real life, honest!
    Take care
    x

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  10. I'm too much of a control freak to work this way - but it does sound like a lot more fun.

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  11. Yeah, I've creeped myself out a few times but in the end I'm like 'I OWN you! pipe down now!'

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  12. How interesting! I love reading writer blogs because I find the different processes and styles enthralling!

    As *easy* as I find editing, I've learned that apparently writing is that way for writers. Stories just flow out of them and to me, that is such a gift and talent!

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  13. I'm another who is too much of a control freak to allow my characters to run the show. For villains, mine tend to be more a battle against self or nature than another person so I haven't found that any scare me when writing.

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  14. Your not crazy. I know exactly how you feel. My villain, scares me. So much. Just, the way he thinks, it gives me shivers and nightmares and horrible feelings of uneasiness, I hate writing him.

    I don't have playlists for my characters specifically (though I do have a general book playlist). They just talk in my head all of the time. Not really to me (though they sometimes do) but they just talk incessantly and have been for the last two years - it's annoying and distracting sometimes because I can never turn it off.

    My characters run the show. I don't ever interfere - I don't have too. My eight MC's (this includes the bad guy) all want such different things that they force each other into horrible situations. Which is kind of fun. But can also get annoying when I don't think it's going in the right direction and I can't do anything about it.

    Good luck and I hope the nightmares arent too awful!

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  15. I'm thinking I need scarier villains, Shannon. Mine have not yet terrified me, and I think that could be an issue.

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  16. I can't say my characters are scary in this WIP, but I bet I could create one, based on the books, movies I've seen that would scare me for sure! Sometimes it's the regular people like Jack in The Shining... scary.

    I would say, write the villian during the day and watch some bad comedy afterward ;o) Good Luck!

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  17. He he, you sound like me with the whole character thing (they totally run the show), except my villians don't really scare me. For my wip, the villian isn't so obvious until the end. Only I know what he's capable of. And I try not to think about it. :D

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  18. My villians can be really scary, and they scare the crap out of my other characters, but they don't scare me. Not because they're not scary (at least, I hope that's not why!) but because I'm a really competitive, "Bring it," sort of person sometimes. Soo.... yeah. :)

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  19. I write them in very small doses. O_o

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  20. Well, it makes for an exciting life, doesn't it?

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  21. Dude, what a creepy picture! Eek!
    I don't really have a villain in my book, though the MC's uncle, who is mentally ill, does some pretty whacked-out stuff. I've made myself cry writing him before, and that doesn't happen very often.

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  22. I definitely have characters that make me feel all sorts of emotions, but I tend to dig my bad guys the most. They please me. Twisted - I know. I actually gave birth to a twisted guy BECAUSE of a dream once. It was disgusting and twisted even for me! What's sad is that I have never grasped the true twistedness of the dream.

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  23. You're definitely not the only one! My villains scare me too. And I don't let them in, I keep them out, and let the unknown drive the fear of my main character. Because there's always something TERRIFYING about the unknown.

    It's like vlogging. Ha!

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  24. My characters always run my world, I have one currently that is in mutiny with me over how much time he gets in this or that scene. I think the most shocking, and I may have said it before, is that when I talk to them or ask them questions and the response shocks me is when I think I'm nuts. Cause I should know the answer right? right...??? I don't let my villian have the same freedom, I don't talk to them at all and don't ask them questions or whatever I do with the rest. I ignore them and then they come flying off the page with mystery and mayhem! And it more often than not makes me wonder about my uncertain sanity lol.

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  25. Similarly, my characters run the show. My villain is actually very charming, which makes him even more dangerous. He doesn't scare me, but that's mostly because I haven't let him fully unleash his potential.

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  26. I have a few characters who scare the crap out of me. Frankly, I hope they scare the crap out of my readers, too. ;) If not, I need to go back and work on that.

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  27. I don't have any scary-as-snot characters right now - my robot guards with freeze rays are as bad as it gets so far - but there may come a day. He he. I have to admit that your picture is pretty dang scary, though.

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  28. Good luck! I love villains! Have fun with it.

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  29. That picture FREAKS me out. Now I really want to know about this villian...I love to scare myself!

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  30. Creepy pic. I don't envy you the nightmares. My antag is just a really mean girl and I know I can survive her. ;)

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  31. My villains aren't really scary...just creepy. I'm also a huge Stephen King fan so I think I'm a little warped in that area anyway.

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  32. My villian is the kind of villian who hides his eviness. So I guess, in that way, he does scare me a bit. Only because I worry where I invented him from. lol.
    Good luck.

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  33. None yet. Just your basic bad guys. I like to put something in my bad guys to pity. Then they don't seem as scary to me.

    But I do have characters try to take over!

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  34. I tend not to write anything scary this very reason! I scare the crap out of myself just by thinking about scary villains. There's no way I could write about anyone evil.

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  35. Hahaha I write dark fantasy so everything I write is tinged with horror, and I often have to dive into the scary side of characters' minds because they're all a little disturbed. The villains are actually my favorite parts to write, and I have so many of them :-P And even when I'm not writing the villains, scary crap is usually happening to the heroine or hero, so I'm just surrounded no matter what I do.

    But then, that's my preference. I LOVE writing scary stuff. :)

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  36. Yes, my characters totally and completely take over all the time. Sometimes it feels like they are the ones writing the story instead of me! I even inwardly argue with them when the story takes a direction I don't agree with.

    Yes, yes it IS scary :)

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  37. Years ago I wrote in a different genre, and my characters were scary. I let them take over. It was interesting to see where they went and what they did.

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  38. Eek. If he scares YOU what's he going to do to the rest of us? You can at least threaten his antics with deletion...we got nothin' but page turning to defend ourselves.

    My villain isn't scary yet. He's a sociopath so right now he's as charming as I imagine Ted Bundy might have been....but he has an agenda and it's about time to start letting snippets of his sickness shine through (insert evil laughter).

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  39. I gotta admit. There's nothing that piques my interest in an author than finding our her villain scares her. Scare yourself and you're one step closer to scaring everyone else. That ... is ... awesome.

    I don't think I'm scared of any of my villains at the moment but I haven't spent time with them yet. Maybe if I got to know them...

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