You are a nasty virus that infects your writing

Picture by Vintaga Posters – BY NC ND

CASE STUDY 1–So I had two kids at the back of the bus. A demon was in the seat across the aisle and it wanted those kids. The kids had no special demon fighting powers. I was at a loss as to how they could get away from the demon without having it simply follow them.

“She had no idea what to do,” I wrote.

CASE STUDY 2– Two characters were on a late night train, talking, info-dump style. (Yeah, it has to happen sometimes. Sue me.) I was reaching the end of my wordcount, and it was late, and I was tired.

“She yawned and said, ‘Let’s talk about this over coffee in the morning.’”


I just wrote myself into my novel. Twice.

I’m not doing a Mary Sue in that my characters are me, only BETTER. Instead, they’re me, inept, confused, and tired. Ruby didn’t know what to do because *I* didn’t know what to do. Zoe was tired and wanted to continue the discussion tomorrow because that’s how *I* feel right now.

I will be fixing these things on rewrite. Do you do this? Be aware of your emotions making your characters confused, angry, tired, horny, sad, or whatever you’re feeling at the time. Sometimes it’s good to tap into those emotions. Other times, at least for me, it’s just damn lazy.

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2 Responses to You are a nasty virus that infects your writing

  1. Yes! I *so* do this. Glad someone else does, too.

  2. Katabatic says:

    I get that all the time. Some people hear their characters speaking to them, I get inhabited. I draw them, I speak their lines aloud to bring rythm to the dialogue and they invade my dreams. Often I work out plot snarls by playing through different scenarios where part of me is the DM and part of me is the main character. When I’m that engrossed in getting into their heads things get a little emeshed. That or I stare blankly at the ceiling for minutes on end. My mom hates that! :p