Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dealing with the Unexpected

Our local internet was down all last evening. Drove me batty. I must have refreshed my browser a bazillion times hoping it would be fixed. No luck until this morning. So, my apologies to all of you who posted great stuff yesterday. I missed it all. Sorry. :(

So many people post on Mondays! According to my blog roll I was about 110 blogs behind before I left for work. Yikes! Catch-up is most definitely NOT going to happen. So I hope I didn't miss any spectucular announcements. If I did, let me know!

Instead of blogging last night I spent the 'bonus' time writing and reading. It was great :)

The male MC in my current story is pretty flexible. He is used to life throwing him twists and can turn the new situtation to his advantage more often than not. (Do you remember watching Lucy react to all the twists her plans always took? Awesome!)

My female MC is another type altogether. She prefers plans to be kept. She's had a safe and happy life growing up and does not appreciate the twists life throws at her in the ms. She tends to stop and take deep breaths and she tries to analyze each step before she takes it.

They make a great pair. Each takes the lead in dealing with unexpected situations at different points in the story - and neither of them gets their way all the time.

What happens to your characters when you throw an unexpected twist to their day? Do they find an alternate activity quickly and happily? Do they stomp and pout? Or do they keep hitting their head against the twist?

68 comments:

  1. And I didn't think there were that many Monday postings compared to usual!! There were tons today however, at least the ones I follow. Glad your internet is up and running!

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  2. LOL Jemi, I feel your pain. My power was out all afternoon yesterday. No TV? Not a problem. No lights? Not a problem. No Internet. No!!!! Help me!!!!!! Make it work, Somebody!!!

    As for twists, I have one pouter and one hitter. I think they balance out. :)

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  3. Karen - it seemed there were a billion posts yesterday, but it probably wasn't quite that high! :)

    I'm so glad it's up too.

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  4. VR - lol! EXACTLY! :)

    A pouter & a hitter should balance things out very nicely! Sounds like fun!

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  5. Ugh, I hate these unexpected pitfalls. So annoying. I think we've come to rely on the Internet too much. A while back I got really sick and it forced me to stop working. For nearly a week I did nothing but watch TV. It was actually...nice.

    But glad you're back ;)

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  6. Carol - ugh is right! I was so thrown by it - Mondays are always HUGE for posts (at least with the people I follow)

    You're right though - a change is as good as a rest! :)

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  7. Sounds like you have a great pair of MC's. I do throw twists at my characters, and they get very frustrated, but work they way through!

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  8. wow, I can't believe how many blogs you read every day! Good grief! Way impressive.

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  9. It's always nice when your characters complement each other. On the rare occasion when I throw the twist in and they don't do it themselves, they kind of just go with the flow... eventually. Some of them refuse to budge and I end up having to build something around them. But other times, they say "okay, this is how it is. How can we fix it?"

    Kind of annoying when what happened doesn't need fixed, though.

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  10. Your characters sound similar to the two MCs of the next novel I'm planning -- the guy handles change much more easily than the girl. She's a planner, kind of a perfectionist, whereas he just rolls with anything. I love throwing twists, because even with an easygoing personality, every once in a while I can throw just the right twist that will knock anyone over.

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  11. I hate it when the internet goes down. Fortunately it's never happened to me at home for more than a half hour or so, but I get so impatient and I'm so spoiled I guess.

    A lot of those Monday posts might have been from the A to Z Bloggers Reflections--there were a bunch and they were pretty good.

    Lee
    Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

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  12. Throwing twists at my characters is fun! Well, for me, not for them, ha.

    I'm glad your internet is back!

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  13. Nice post. I like that your MCs react to complications differently, that opens up the plot to so many more possibilities! (And I'm a huge Lucy fan.)

    I so love throwing *@#& at characters and watching them have to scramble!

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  14. Aubrie - it's so much fun to throw those twists at the characters in our stories. Writers are an odd bunch :)

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  15. Tamara - thanks - I do try to keep up with most of the posts of all my friends. It's hard somedays - but I keep trying!

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  16. E - so true! And I love how your characters throw their own twists at themselves! Those kinds of characters are the most fun to write!!

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  17. Oh, especially when my life gets twisty, I LOVE throwing my characters into one bad sitch after another!

    Yeah, being without the interwebs is awful. We sure are dependent on our online fun.

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  18. Shelley - yes, it's so much fun to push them to their limits with those twists. And I like when they're able to dig deep and act out of character because they know it's the right thing to do!

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  19. Lee - that's right - it was the wrap-up day. I'll have to poke around and check some out when I've got some extra time!!

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  20. Laura - I'm glad it's back too - with the laptop woes earlier, I've had enough with no Internet access!

    Twists are so much fun! :)

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  21. M&M - thanks! I love Lucy too :)

    Opening up the plot with the reactions of characters is such fun!

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  22. Lola - my hubby thinks it's funny & bizarre how much joy I get out of the online community :)

    Twists and turns do make the plot go round!

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  23. Sad to hear of your internet outage. It's never fun to lose connections for a day. Glad you're back up, though.

    I have a royal tantrumer, two that go with the flow and one that makes decisions and moves on.

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  24. OMG you won't BELIEVE what you missed....kidding ;)
    So frustrating without internet, always makes me wonder what we did before. And I've noticed the Monday thing too...maybe it's the build-up of ideas people have over the weekend that just explode out of them on Mondays. I know that has happened to me, need to let it out or I'll forget :)

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  25. Cat - that's a great mix! I need to throw a tantrummer into my next novel - they're so much fun to write! :)

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  26. Cate - lol :) You had me going for a second! It's ridiculous how out of the loop I feel & it's one measly day!

    I'm like that too - I don't plan out the blogs - just blog when i have the time/idea. So maybe everyone does just burst out on Mondays :)

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  27. Why do so many people blog on Mondays? The writers are pent up from not writing a post on the weekends.

    I love the idea of the contrast between your two characters. People are either one or the other and so are my characters. My protagonists are often less flexible, while their best friends are more adaptable. Often, a sign of my main character's growth is that she learns to be more flexible.

    It's a great question!

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  28. Theresa - I think you've got it - writers need to write or they might explode!

    That's a great way to show growth - it definitely happens to my female mc too :)

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  29. Writing and reading instead of blogging actually sounds pretty ok. I know I missed some awesomeness yesterday but I can't keep up and I don't follow as many blogs as you do. I'm feeling pretty stressed out about the blog, wanting to cultivate more followers but unable to particpate in all these contests that seem to be the big thing nowadays. Your characters sounds neat. I love writing, sometimes more than I like talking about it. Does that make sense? It's like when I'm in the middle of a WIP, I can't talk about it or it will be ruined. Geez..I like how my verification word is bable.:)

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  30. I was thinking about characters in books this week. Must be something in the air. I like creating characters that compliment each other and are opposites. I think this makes the story stronger.

    Glad you're back online. :0)

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  31. Yvonne - love your word ver - but you never babble!!

    I usually miss contests and blog fests because my time is so limited. Any writing time I do get I want to spend on my wip. I'm almost over feeling guilty about it :)

    I know what you mean about talking about the writing. I don't like giving out snippets or TMI - just paranoid I guess - what if everyone hates it?

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  32. Thanks Kathi - I do like to have contrasting styles in the MCs of the books I read and write. I think you're right - makes the book stronger and more interesting. Boring if everyone's the same!

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  33. Very glad your connection is back. I hate it when I can't get online. My protagonist tries to stay low, not rock the boat. She'll have to change.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  34. Helen - love it! That's a pretty good description of me :) I'm learning to change too!

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  35. I've started structure around my own blog but still figuring out structure around commenting so I can make sure I keep up. But 101 on a Monday?? Yikes. That would take some analyzing. (I'm kind of like your female MC, lol). And I like it when characters get caught in a situation where they are stumped, challenged because their normal way of reacting won't work. Makes an interesting story!. Love the Lucy picture! Brings back great memories.

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  36. Lynn - Yikes indeed!

    I need you and my female MC to do some analyzing and help me figure out how to do it all! :)

    Isn't Lucy great? I love how she worked out alternate solutions - especially knowing they mostly wouldn't work :)

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  37. My female MC is a pretty flexible cat- she thinks on her feet. That's good because otherwise she'd probably be dead by now.

    I'm glad your power is back!

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  38. I curtailed some of the stomping and inserted more pushing through. During the fight sequences, the characters definitely had to think fast - or die!

    Glad you got in some reading and writing time.

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  39. Stephanie - I'm glad it's back too - apparently some house fire caused half the city to go down. Weird.

    Flexibility is often the key to survival isn't it? My male MC is able to make it through some tough scenarios because he is a flexible thinker.

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  40. Alex - sounds like your story has lots of action too. I'm so glad your MC can think fast enough - should be a great book :)

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  41. Wow Jemi, you get to many comments in your bog that it's dizzing, lol.

    So, it's great that you took advantage of a problem and twisted it in a productive way. By productive I mean it could be a relaxing time and also productive, got it? ;)

    My characters aren't very good into using an unexpected situation to their advantage. Maybe it's the writer's flaw reflecting on them? heh It's way cool that you have two characters with opposite behavior tendencies that work so well together! Also, the fact that you can write both points of view is great! You're certainly a better writer. ;)

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  42. My characters probably cover a range! I think that's one of the best ways to show the traits of your fictional folks: throw them some twists and see how they react!

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  43. Hello Jemi! I found you via a comment you left for Lorel at 'I'm Blogging Drowning Here!' - being a fellow 'stubborn optimist' about writing I thought I should saunter over. :)

    I like the sound of your MC's. They sound very readable! My characters - well... it is interesting to see what unfolds when I change the story slightly, but mostly I plan as I am going along. However some little twists and turns are just too tempting!

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  44. The Internet was painfully slow here in the UK last night too. I wonder if Canada and UK Internet issues can possibly be linked or was it a coincidence. It's worrying how much time is freed up by an Internet blip though. As for my characters, I keep finding that my MC's best friend is more interesting than my MC. It's something I'm working on.

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  45. I use the example from Collateral where Tom Cruise tells Jamie Fox for inspiration:

    Okay, look, here's the deal. Man, you were gonna drive me around tonight, never be the wiser, but El Gordo got in front of a window, did his high dive, we're into Plan B. Still breathing? Now we gotta make the best of it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, shit happens, I Ching, whatever man, we gotta roll with it.
    Max: I Ching? What are you talking about, man? You threw a man out of a window.

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  46. Great post as usual, Jemi! I like to do evil things to my characters then watch them flail about. Of course not all of them flail, but they do often struggle. It's so much fun being a horrible puppet master.

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  47. Jemi, my main characters pull together and work through their rough times. My antag is another story, she's a definitely hit and run type person.

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  48. Glad you're back. You only missed the Spread the Awesome. Nothing big. ;-)

    And my MC gets mad. She vows to kill people. Then she figures a way out of the mess and hugs them when she catches up to them again. Hey, it's what works for her.

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  49. Thanks Mari - I do have a lot of great friends who leave comments :)

    I do think my characters make a pretty good team. They react quite differently, but learn to be a team over the course of the book!

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  50. India - sounds like your characters will have a lot of fun!

    How people & characters react does tell you a lot about them!

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  51. Jayne - I'm always glad to meet a fellow stubborn optimist :)

    I hope my characters are readable - thanks! I don't do a lot of pre-planning - I just tend to let the characters take me where they want to go.

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  52. Rosalind - maybe we're linked! :)

    I bet your MC is plenty likeable - but sometimes those 2ndary characters do steal the show!

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  53. Stephen - love your example! Throwing someone out the window definitely counts as an unexpected twist! And improvise is the name of the game :)

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  54. Talli - evil puppet mastery is so much fun! It's exciting to see how they cope with the unexpected things we toss their way :)

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  55. Lisa - sounds like your characters will definitely win over your antag! Running never works :)

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  56. Elana - spread the awesome was pretty darn big!!

    I think I'm going to like your MC! A girl of passion and action! Awesome :)

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  57. I think I'd die ;) if my Internet went down...

    Not sure I've thrown an unexpected twist on a MC, but that's something to think about.

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  58. Carolyn - it was so weird - everyone at work was talking about it the next day. Hard to imagine what we did before Internet! :)

    Try the unexpected twist - they're fun! :)

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  59. With Samuel McCord, he is pretty laid back with unexpected twists to his life. If you read my Primal Scream entry, you'll understand that he gets rather edgy and harsh when it comes to violent unexpected surprises to young children or women.

    Your blog shows your creativity and effort. It's appreciated, Roland

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  60. The internet can be evil sometimes. Very evil. :)

    I like to think my characters role with the punches when I throw a twist there way, but they usually just pout. Whiny bunch of fake people!! LOL ;)

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  61. Thanks Roland - McCord sounds like a great character - I've enjoyed learning about him! :)

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  62. Kimberly - so very true!

    LOL - your whiny fake people sound like a lot of fun!! :)

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  63. Ugh, internet problems are horrible! Totally can sympathize with you. I too refreshed my browser hoping it would magically fix. Playing catch up is hard too! Glad to see you back up and running.

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  64. Jessica - They most certainly are!

    It's good to be running again - even 1 day makes me feel sooooo far behind!

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  65. Some adapt and others kick and scream. They're all very versatile.

    I'm very much laid-back so the ones who freak out I just don't understand. Weirdos.

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  66. Hannah - Sounds like you've got a really good mix going on! The weirdos should add a lot of fun to the story!! :)

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  67. In my current WIP, a standalone suspense novel, my main character is facing one unexpected twist after another. Luckily, she thinks fast and can run like hell.

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  68. Patricia - gotta love that. I wish I could think as quickly as my characters. I'm one of those who thinks of the best thing to say... only 3 hours later. :)

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