Mr. White is building a robot
~ There's a scene from my all-time favorite television show (Breaking Bad) where the two main characters are stranded in the desert. They're in an RV that won't start, and one of them (Mr. White/the smart one) starts working on a way to get power to the RV. The other character (Jesse/the not-so-smart one) guesses that Mr. White is building a robot. He's not. He's actually building a battery, but this line is especially funny because it was ad-libed by the actor and it works better than the originally written dialogue.
For me, writing starts out as a planned process. I map out the basic storyline, including the end. But, as I'm actually writing the story, I find a sort of organic process takes over. This is even more so when going back through the story and doing my own editing (something I'm finding of great value, not just because it saves time for my editor and money for me).
I suppose writing is an evolutionary process, and although the masterminds of our time might have a method that's set in stone for them, mine seems to change as I write more. Surely any author could keep re-reading their own work and wanting to continuously make changes to "better" it, but there's a fine line between sharpening things up and messing things up. George Lucas couldn't stop tinkering with Star Wars and his changes to the original series ranged from good to unnecessary ...to awful.
So, how does my example from Breaking Bad apply? As crazy as it probably sounds, good characters seem to take on a life of their own, in some respect. As the author, I feel like the personality of the character often drives the dialogue and actions of that character. Sometimes, they do or say something that I hadn't planned on. In reality, this is the organic creative process at work. But it sometimes feels almost like they jumped off script. To me, that's the sign of good character development. I guess it could also be argued that this is really just the sign of an insane author. Either way, I'll take it. Until next time, happy reading!
Side note: The Audible version of In The Dark is 100% complete! The brand new cover is in development and close to completion. I'll be providing review copies of the audiobook soon!Stay tuned!