For me, writing is an adventure. I very much write by the seat of my pants. I might know a bit about where I’m going, I know where I’ve been, but I don’t know the way I’m going to get there. I’m not likely to have a road map to the end of the story, but even if I did, I’m always down for whatever side quests and rabbit trails my characters want to take me on.
The best thing about the writing adventure is getting to know the characters along the way. I’m always discovering more layers that they kept hidden upon first meeting. Characters who I think are just the best friend have turned out to be the villain. Side characters have intrigued me so much I’ve decided their story needs telling. One pair of ladies charmed me so much, they’re going to appear as secondary characters in multiple books and may even get a book of their own.
In my book, Lily of the Nile, I immediately knew about the spunk of Lily, and the tenacity of Ezekiel, but they took a while to show me other parts of their personality. Lily, in particular, held on to details about her job and her passions so tight, I didn’t break through the shell until my fourth try at pulling back the layers. Her reticence in showing her true self gave me a better understanding of both how judged she felt, and how Ezekiel—who knew her and loved her—could see only the outward façade she displayed—After all, I’d done the same thing! (I even had a co-worker call her a diva after seeing some of the first pages I’d written.)
The biggest problem I have with these characters is that they all vie for my attention. At times, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’m glad that God has given me several imaginary friends to get to know.
Blair St. John