When your character speaks to you

My character was speaking to me last night…

While book one of The Darkness of Light is making its query rounds, I began working on book two in the series as well as another unrelated book.

I had a plot for the sequel to The Darkness of Light, but when I started to write it something wasn’t working. I got as far as chapter 6 before I decided to walk away from it for a bit. I had to think on it and let the ideas come to me instead of hunting them down.

My biggest problem in moving forward was my character, Malcolm. For those who haven’t read the book, Malcolm is the antagonist. He is awful. Truly awful. I instilled in him all of the characteristics that I truly hate in people.

But in the process of creating him, and living with him, and getting into his mind something strange happened…. I began to like him (I use the word “like” gently).

It seemed that my beta-readers liked him as well. Not because he is likeable, but because he is so utterly unlikable.

My struggle for book two then became: How do I keep you, Malcolm? I know I can’t redeem you, I can’t keep you as you are, but I don’t want to change you either.

This was the challenge.

So I waited…

And last night, as I was in that place halfway between being awake and dreaming I heard his voice! I heard it like someone was whispering dialog in my ear. It was so weird!

I listened carefully. Malcolm was telling me his thoughts. He was explaining to me that while he is inherently evil, he is not entirely lost. He told me what he needed to do and how he needed to evolve in order to keep going through this second book.

When I finally woke up I grabbed my notebook and jotted down 4 pages of plot notes, questions, and solutions.

Now I feel more confident about moving forward!

It’s so strange; I’ve never heard Malcolm like that before. When writing book one it was Mara and Corbin who told me what to do. Now it seems that Malcolm wants to dictate his own journey.

If that’s how we’re going to get book two done, then that’s how we’ll do it.

I know this all sounds a little crazy. And I’m definitely not speaking figuratively. I heard his voice as clear as my own.

Does that happen to anyone else?

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