Friday, December 4, 2009

Great Expectations

Sometimes things don't turn out the way you expect.

This picture was taken five years ago when my daughter had just turned two. She was SO not interested in sitting on this fat guy's lap and I'm sure he'd had his fill of cranky babies, too. All the same, this is one of my favorite Christmas photos ever, precisely because it didn't turn out the way it was supposed to!

It's like that when I write sometimes. I was literally typing away last week when I realized, "Omigosh, this happened to her! I had no idea!" It was almost like I'd discovered this secret the character had been trying to hide. I know I'm a geek, but I got so excited. I figured out something new about this character that I thought I already knew so well!

Has a character ever surprised you that way? And then forced you to go back and change the story to accommodate this new discovery? It's cool. It's fun. But it's also a LOT of work!

Well today is the Second Day of Christmas. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back and read this post then come back and join in the fun. And now, for the randomly generated winner from the First Day of Christmas, please give it up for:

Congratulations, Mim!! Email me at solvangsherrie at gmail dot com and let me know which prize you'd like receive.

For the Second Day of Christmas you have three choices again. Choice #1 is another ARC, this time of AVALON HIGH by Meg Cabot. Ever heard of her? Yeah, I thought so. I actually bought this at the library when they were having a sale of used books. Of course I snatched it up. It was the first Meg Cabot I ever read! And it was just as good as I expected it would be :)

Choice #2 is Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a great MG retelling of my favorite fairy tale, East of the Sun and West of the Moon. If you haven't heard of it, read this post.

Choice #3 is this über cool bracelet by Ubuntu. Sales of these bracelets help women and orphaned children devastated by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Perfect for men or women, these bracelets pretty much go with anything in your closet :)

Remember, you must be a follower to be entered to win. I'll draw for this one Sunday night at 10pm PST. Let the comments begin!


TerryLynnJohnson said...

YES! My mc from Dogsled Dreams did something I was surprised with. Isn't that cool? I try to explain that to non writing friends and they just look at me like I'm nuts. Great post, and love the photo too!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I haven't had that happen to me yet, but I look forward to it!

I love Meg Cabot, but that bracelet is awesome! ;-)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yes, I love when characters surprise me. It adds depth, multiple layers to who they are, what place they are coming from. And, it's true, that sometimes when you go back to the beginning you have to adjust for what you've discovered about them.
Very cool gifts! You are pretty awesome.

lotusgirl said...

Yep. My characters love to surprise me. Avalon High was a fun read.

Becky Levine said...

It's magic when this happens. And there's some way we could get there more often, I think, if we could loosen the reins more frequently. Another thing to work on! :)

Susan R. Mills said...

I love it when that happens. I ended up changing half my manuscript when my mc surprised me with something.

Sherrie Petersen said...

TerryLynn: That's why it's great to have writing friends who understand :)

Shannon: You'll get chills when it does happen!

Tricia: It does add a lot of depth to the character, that's true. Maybe that's why I got excited, because she seemed even more real at that point.

Lois: Avalon High was a fun read :)

Becky: It is magical. But loosening the reins is hard, isn't it?

Susan: That's the hard part, going back to make the changes.

Elana Johnson said...

I know exactly what you mean! Even in novels you work on for a while, when someone asks you something or you get a suggestion, you're like, "Why yes, my character has this in his past." It's thrilling!

lisa and laura said...

Oh gosh, it's the best feeling in the world when everything just clicks isn't it? I get so excited! Guess that makes me a nerd too. No big surprise there...

Love that bracelet and love all your giveaways! What a festive month!

That picture is just priceless. Could your kids be any cuter?

Barrie said...

I don't know if I've ever had a surprise as big as what you're describing. But, definitely, I don't always know the characters as well as I think!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

you are like arc girl!

BTW i have the same pic with my 2 year old :)

Kelly Polark said...

The moment with the lil ones with Santa is sometimes stressful if they are crying, but you do laugh at it later! I have a pic of my son pulling Santa's beard!

storyqueen said...

Adorable picture.

I just discovered that one of my characters secretly likes another of my characters....I'm kind of mad, actually. I mean, he could have told me sooner....


PJ Hoover said...

Same thing happened on a second draft of my WIP and I am still thrilled about it.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Elana: Why yes, I know what you mean!

LiLa: Thanks, I think they're pretty cute too :)

Barrie: It's almost like they're real people that you get to know better each day...

Shelli: Just spreading the ARC love around :)

Kelli: Those Santa moments are stressful, aren't they?

Shelley: That boy was holding out on you!

PJ: Very cool! Love those moments!

Karen Denise said...

OMG! This just happened to me. My current WIP is just coming at me from every angle. It started as a sort of dream (I was in and out of sleep) and then as I started writing it, I began to think that these people aren't alive, well, aren't human and they don't even know it. When I brought it up to a non-writer friend that I think my characters might not be human, she was like..."um, you're in control of this story, they can be what you want."

But sometimes they can't and even though my characters were living breathing beings when I started...they had to become what they are now.

And you're kids are just cute to the second power!

Dawn Simon said...

Cute photo!

I HAVE had characters surprise me, and I love it when they do! What a great contest, BTW.

Lori Calabrese said...

It's amazing how characters can surprise you!

Love this pic--thx for sharing!

Rebecca Gomez said...

I love it when those surprises happen when I'm writing. But I love surprises (good ones) in general.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Comments are now closed for the drawing. I'll announce the winner in the morning.

Karen: Don't worry, your writing friends get it! And yeah, I think my kiddos are pretty cute, too :)

Dawn: Surprises can be fun, yes? Good luck in the drawing!

Lori: I think that's part of the fun of writing :)

Rebecca: I love a good surprise :D

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