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. 😉