Characters Do the Darnedest Things

Young male on bicycle that's slightly above a dirt path

The other night I was writing a chase scene for my latest book. The hero had stolen a box from the bad guys and was running away from them on foot.

​I'd planned to have an exciting chase through the streets, with the heroine joining ​in at some point. 

I was writing this just before bed and my eyelids were already starting to droop. This drowsy state often results in my muse going off in odd directions.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when instead of my hero taking off down the street on foot, my heroine ​spotted ​him pedaling away on a bicycle. Where'd he get the bicycle? I haven't a friggin' clue. ​It wasn't in the plan. But there he was, riding an old bicycle with a black frame, with the stolen box ​perched precariously in the bike's front basket and the bad guys falling behind.

​No no no no no no NO! That’s not how the scene was supposed to go. He'd just ruined everything.

Frustrated, I shut down ​my computer for the night.

However, my muse wasn’t done with me. As I was getting ready for bed, I ​realized that ​my hero's unexpected action ​would ​result in ​a new threat from the bad guys.

Yeah, something bad is about to happen to the hero. Serves him right for veering from ​my plan.

​All griping aside, things like this happen frequently to me. After I get over my initial pique and shock, I ​usually discover that these​ unexpected plot turns ​have made the book stronger. So no matter how many times my characters frustrate me, I know that ​it pays to listen.

And secretly? I love these moments. But shhh...don't tell them, okay? I don't want to encourage them. 😉