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August 30, 2010


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Man, I hate the goal stuff. Honestly, truly, hate it. I can usually come up with a fair bid of an emotional goal...but the actual physical manifestation of it is a slippery beast that I drop constantly.

Ask Terri.

I think, if matched with my characters, we'd team up and take out the refs. ;-)

Donna Cummings

LOL, Maureen, I know what you mean. I do things fairly intuitively, but sometimes I have to stop and analyze because it's not working the way I need it to.

I'm glad to know you and your characters are such a fierce team! I might have to hire you guys one day. LOL


Well, I don't think my characters argue with me. Not really. I just chatter with them and we generally work it out. Since they all believe in breaking the rules whenever possible, or a least perverting them a little, we'd take on the ref. I'm sure of that.

Much more fun that way!

Donna Cummings

I think you are always going to have fun, no matter what happens. :) And I like your rule-breaking characters -- can't wait to see them take on the publishing world!


It finally occurred to me, in one of those random moments that make me believe writing is 85% magic and 15% voodoo.

My favorite line. Absolutely true.

I don't know what my characters want. This story would probably be a lot easier to write (*laughs hysterically at word 'easier'*) if I did.

Donna Cummings

Oooh, Hellion, talk about voodoo -- we were both commenting at the same time! Eeerie. LOL

I'll join you in the hysterical laughter (emphasis on hysterical!) Maybe my characters just want to be the center of attention. . .does that work? LOL


Well, if your characters aren't the center of the attention, then...well...whose story would it be?


Donna Cummings

LOL -- Maureen, I meant I could get away with my characters not having goals, because they'd be happy being the center of attention. :)

Guess I didn't explain it very well. LOL


As opposed to their goals being the center of attention?

See, this is where I get the whole chicken and egg thing chasing itself in my skull... Which came first? The goal or the characters?

Which is why I fight seeing them as different...even to the point of deep denial that they can be seen different. Or defining.

Donna Cummings

I think you're making it harder than it's meant to be. :) Your characters want something, and there's an underlying emotional reason for it.

And when Hellie mentioned she didn't know what her characters wanted, I suggested maybe they just wanted to be the center of attention--the reason for the story, so to speak.

So don't fret! Let your characters be who they are, and enjoy the journey. That's the important part. :)


I just finished giving a workshop on this very topic! Great post, Donna.

Donna Cummings

Misa, I wish I'd had a chance to take the workshop! I had to work it out the hard way. LOL

Thanks for coming by. :)

Erin Kelly

Geez, Donna, where were you when I started my first manuscript? This would have saved me the agony of the revisions that took MONTHS! I should have just put it aside, but I just loved it too much :)
Great post!

Donna Cummings

Erin -- LOL -- I wish I'd known this when I'd started my first manuscript too! Those characters were pretty goalless, I have to admit. But they were fun to be around, and they helped me get to the point where I understood what they needed. So they served MY goals! LOL

I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

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