Hell Raisers

Those pesky characters.  They’re  like a bunch of rowdy, hell raising kids, doing what they want, when they want.

Or at least it seems that way to me.  I try to corral them up, and make them sit and behave, but just when I turn my back, someone, (it’s always someone isn’t it?) shows their rear end, and I have to threaten to kill them off.

This third book and it’s cast of characters makes me think we are all suffering from split personalities.

My protagonist, sweet girl that she is, keeps running and hiding in corners, locking herself up in her house, and well, she was in a ditch at one point, until I remembered that study.  You know, the one that said something along the lines of, NOBODY is EVER found in a ditch, ever.  (So your mother saying, “for all I know you could have been in a ditch somewhere…,”  Not true.  Statistics prove it.)  So, I drag her out of the ditch, dust her off, and shove her back on her bike, no broken leg to contend with.   She was quite peeved at that sidetrack and since then, she’s still testing me with what she wants to do, and what she doesn’t want to do.  Like, you figure it out.  Me?  I’m sitting here until you do.

That girl.

Then there’s my antagonist.  The psychopath.  He keeps wanting to wax poetic on me.  He’s a pretty observant dude for someone so pissed at the world and barely a shred of feeling.   And he keeps upping his badness, like he’s afraid he’s not bad enough.   And he spends time dragging me down further into his sickness until I’m questioning my own mental state.  Like, where in the hell did that come from?  I swear I’ve heard him laughing.

And there’s the parents…is Dad a total loser or a careful man, someone who doesn’t take risks and has just had a run of bad luck?    And what about Mama?  Is she feisty, spirited and stubborn, even with a gun in her face, or is she a quivering puddle of nerves and emotion?  Tap, tap, tap.  That’s them tapping their toes, hands on waists, eyeballing me with disgust.

And the rest… who are currently running amok without any sense of reason, pushing, shoving, screaming their little heads off because their part is currently so small, they’ve barely made amoeba status with their personalities.  What about me?  What about me?  What about me?

Character development is complex because you have to get to know these “people” like you do your own family.  And sometimes?   They.  Just.  Don’t.  Cooperate.  They throw hissy fits, they run away, they play devil’s advocate, they throw you a curve ball and tell you to go to hell while you’re trying to hit it.

Can you say the same about your characters?  Are they running wild and driving you crazy?



I love my characters, I mean I really love them in all their stupefied glory. Each one could have a best seller written about them – by someone other than me. I barely have time to make deadline. Love it though.
Who says no one ends up in a ditch, I dig a 9 to 5 ditch every freakin’ day.


I feel like my characters all have different personalities, and so, relate to me in different ways. I have some who come through LOUD and CLEAR. I’ll hear them, rush to the computer, and an hour later have a nearly one-take scene. And then I have characters who, like their personalities, are more standoffish. They maybe only show me the good side of themselves. And I have to get the other, less flattering bits of information, from other characters. I feel like it’s taken years to know those characters.

But I suppose they’re all (in one way or another) different aspects of ourselves. I’m not surprised I have to wrangle some more than others! And yes. There was a ton of wrangling in the beginning! On that note, I like to believe that my protagonist and I have a happy truce now. Even though, my protagonist likes to believe that, “This would all go a lot easier for you if you would just listen to me…”


    Ha, yes, and therefore that split personality thing rings true, right? That rush to the computer, classic! LOL!

    The ones who are LOUD and CLEAR won’t let the others talk either, and then they ALL start to act like spoiled brats. Here’s to having happy truces, less wrangling and MORE writing!


      I’m actually fascinated by the whole dissociative or subconscious aspect of creative writing. I only wish there were more articles or studies about it, because it’s something I would just love to understand more about myself.


Haha! Have you ever read Intrusions by Ursula Hegi? The entire book is about the characters interrupting her writing! I haven’t read it in at least ten years, but I remember loving it!


    You know what? I gotta take a trip upstairs and look at my TBR pile…std by.

    Back – YES! I do have it, as well as “THE WORST THING I’VE DONE.” I read STONES FROM A RIVER years ago, and then on Betsy’s blog or somewhere, there was discussion about Hegi, and the book INTRUSIONS was brought up. So, I bought it and it’s been gathering dust. I’ll have to shove aside the others in line, now that you’ve highlighted it to me! Thanks!


      That was me who brought it up on Betsy’s blog! Lol, and I won three books because she chose it.

      Loved Stones from the River, but didn’t like The Worst Thing I’ve Done. I’ve read almost everything Hegi and it didn’t seem like her writing to me.


      Oh! LOL! Well, my memory was half way there! I remember that too, that “someone” had said they didn’t like the other one.


Sounds great, paralleling life so closely. My main character (Sheriff) keeps flirting with the loner that’s trying to save the town. I almost want to write in a scene where one of the locals sprays them both with cold water. Writer/chaperone? good luck with the m/s.


    Hey Hank,

    So true! Funny, there’s a sheriff in mine too (he’s one of the ones in the background at the moment wondering exactly what he’s supposed to be doing)…AND, he’s going to be “interested” in the protag. I’ll have to keep the cold water in mind. Ha!

    And ditto that on the m/s – good luck w/yours too!


    Oh, and btw, I just visited your blog, and OMG. I think you’ve somehow picked yourself up and plopped yourself down in the midst of a fairy tale living. I know it’s hard work…but seriously – vineyard? In France? And a B&B? Can I steal your identity and live there a while??


%d bloggers like this: