The Accountability is the Key

The novels Towanna and I will write are character-driven. By character driven, I mean the character is the power behind the plot moving forward. With that comes the deepest of need for the writer to be held accountable for open communication and honesty between the novel and writer. By accountability, I mean the writer is responsible for telling the story the way it should be written not formalistically.

I feel that character-driven novels can and sometimes do pick up the personality of the writer. In this current project we are working on, we are trying to make the main character as open and honest as Towanna and I are. Our main character tends to be fallacious every chance he gets. He likes surprising us every now and again. His voice needs to be heard. We want his voice heard, but at the same time, we are the writers and we must maintain some control.

Many that know me will think my character is just as crazy as I am. Even Towanna often thinks I am nuttier then a fruit cake when we discuss our projects – so who knows. I hope that we do not make this main character nuttier the main character in The Shining turned out to be. One insane person in this trio is more than enough. LOL

I feel very strongly that I must cooperate with my character as he comes out from the dark corners of my mind and hits the screen. While I know he is a creation of ours, to me, he is still a person that deserves respect. He has a few serious issues that he is working on throughout in this novel. It is our responsibility to allow him the time and space to solve his own problems.

As I said, I feel that characters can achieve the personality of the writer. In this project, I am finding the main character can be as stubborn as I am known to be. He tends to fight back when we are pushing him forward. He can be the biggest uncooperative bastard I know. We give him the time and space that he needs then we begin to push him forward. Our main character has always thought that I am stubborn and now he has met Towanna. Towanna can dig her feet in and hold her ground better than our main character and I put together. When we are ready to move on, if I can’t get our character into the forward march mode, Towanna does.

If a writer is not held accountable for his character’s actions, the story falls dead in the water then
it won’t sell. It is a delicate balance between everything a writer is responsible for and how it is written in the novel. When I sit down and type out the first draft then look back, I have found times where the writing can be salvaged and times it can’t be. I know if I hear Towanna groan when she reads what I have written, that there is a major lack of something in what I have accomplished and that a long tour of duty in the word mine is in my near future.

Every story that an author writes teaches him/her a new technique or valuable lesson.  Our current project has taught me to be accountable for my work and the well-being of our main character. This novel is teaching me to have patience and understanding. Another very lesson I have learned so far, is that I can work through the difficult scenes. I have become quite the procrastinator and stubborn over the last twenty years when it came too hard to write scenes.

I know I have to hold myself accountable for what I say, do and write in life – especially in my novel. The most valuable lesson I have learned was to ensure that my disability is considered in all things. I feel I have grown a lot as a writer this year thanks to the great support network I have. I also learned that while I am disabled, I shouldn’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate or ignore things I need to do to get this novel written.


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