Rolling with the Punches

I once dreamed of being a famous author and poet; Survive NowAsk Questions Laterone of those writers whose work was adored, picked apart to find the deeper meaning only to see genius at every level.

(I used to be quite full of myself)

Of course, that was when I still believed that writing was “easy-peasy”, and I could shoot New York Times Bestsellers out of my fingertips on demand. Then I grew up and realized that writing is work. I both envy and dread having the mind of a literary genius. Why dread? Because that’s a lot of responsibility, and I’m very much a pajamas-and-slippers kind of gal.

Could I do my book signings while still in my PJs, please?

But I digress…

I’m a Pantser (fly by the seat of my pants) writer. I don’t plan. I may keep a document or a notebook to organize characters, places, and timelines as I go along, but there’s very little to no planning a story beforehand. Well, this method of mine tends to lead to me writing things without really realizing why other than because it’s part of the story. So when a reader asked me a question about my protagonist, Charlie, in my book Guardian, I had to sit back and think about it for a moment.

Actually, I thought about it for a few days.

Her question was why a 17-year-old girl who’d just been sold off to an underground slave trade run by monsters (evil mages, ghouls, vampires, etc.), and dosed with a magic-laced serum that gave her magic abilities, would just go along with what was happening without stopping to question A,B, and C.

And I realized that there have been a lot of those scenarios in my life. Not the paranormal aspect of it, of course, but I’ve experienced many situations that required just rolling with the punches; going with the flow, if you will. Sometimes, in the middle of a crisis, we don’t really have the timeĀ  or the mental/emotional capacity to sit around asking questions. Which is exactly where Charlie was in the story.

She’s exhausted, confused, pissed, and secretly pretty frightened. She’s also a fighter. She’s never been the kind to “sit down and shut up on demand”, as it says in the story. She deals the hand that’s given to her. And this is exactly the case from page one.

She’s in a situation that she can’t control. She’s surrounded by people who are bigger and badder than her on all sides. As a person of action, that’s exactly what she does… she acts: survive now, ask questions later. Have regrets later.

This is why Charlie just goes along with what’s happening.

So, dear reader, I hope that answers your question. And as the editing process happens, I’ll be sure to try and clarify this fact, even if that clarification comes later in the story.


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