Monday, July 15, 2013

When Characters Take Over by Sandra Owens

There comes a point when writing a book that my characters begin to take over, and frequently I’m surprised by what they have to say. My hero in THE LETTER, Michael, the Earl of Daventry, is a talker. I found that interesting because I’m very much the opposite. He is at ease in a crowd of strangers and is never at a loss for words. I discovered Michael liked to make things up, little imaginary tales.

Things like this: Reunited after eleven years with the woman he’d planned to marry, they are riding in a carriage on their way to London.
“Sorry, did you say something?”
“You sounded as if you were snarling. Why?” He made a show of stretching the cricks out of his neck.
“I must have been dreaming of when I was a wolf.”
She stared at him as if he had lost his mind. “I beg your pardon?”
“Didn’t I ever tell you? I’m certain I must have.”
He grinned like he thought a wolf might. “Listen. In my other life, the one before this, I was a ferocious, furry beast. In my dreams, I sometimes relive those days when I was king of the woods. I think the thing I miss most is having a tail. Well, that and howling at the moon.”
“You’ve gone mad,” she said, but her lips twitched.
“Never say so!” He put his hand over his heart. “You wound me, Diana. I have just shared my most secret of secrets and you doubt me?”
She burst into laughter. The sound of it was a melodious symphony to his ears.
“You dare laugh at the beast?” He growled and attacked. Moving to the seat next to her, he wrapped his arms around her and nipped at her neck with his teeth. Her body shook with hilarity as she tried to swat him away. Her gaze lifted to his, her lips still quivering.
“I’m trying to picture you with a tail.”
Michael quirked a brow at the woman who was starting to seem like the girl he once knew. “It was a very lovely, bushy tail, I’ll have you know.”

I never knew what Michael would come up with next. But that’s the fun of creating stories, the wonderful surprise when my characters come to life and what they have to say surpasses anything I could have thought of.

Sandra Owens

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