Brain Invasion!!

Last week a character walked into my brain. She’s quirky, impractical, and kind of loud. She’s informed me she’s not going anywhere until I write her book. The trouble with this? NO PLOT.

You need to understand, I’m a plot gal. The story ideas I get are usually in the form of plots. I focus very much on plot when I’m drafting and outlining (and I outline pretty heavily.) And moments when I’m feeling down about my writing, I console myself with the idea that I can create a decent plot.

So where’s this character coming from? And what’s with the lack of plot? To tell the truth, I’m kind of nervous about this.

That said, I’m in an adventurous mood.

I remember going to a poetry reading in college, where the brilliant Leslie Norris said we need to create the character first, and then let that character tell us the story. So I’m going to put Mr. Norris’ words to the test. I’m going to get to know this girl in my head, and then I’m going to set her loose in a Word document.

Wish me luck.



  1. storyqueen on July 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Oh Dear God! It sounds like my third daughter has invaded your mind.


    Thought I had a better leash on her….oh well….

    There will be stories…yes, there will be stories.

    have fun!


  2. Jessie Oliveros on July 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Does she have a name? I’ve never had character invade first. Good luck with that. If she gets too loud maybe you can drown her out with Dr. Pepper.

  3. Natalie Whipple on July 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Have fun! Welcome to my side:) Character first party! hehe. Sometimes it takes time to find that plot, but it’ll come! The more you investigate that character, the more ideas you’ll get.

  4. sraasch on July 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    DUDE I have the same problem! This character, all dressed up and nowhere to go…it’s MADDENING. But exciting all the same, because anything can happen! Good luck, woman πŸ™‚

  5. Miriam S. Forster on July 26, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Cool! I hope you have fun with this character, she sounds entertaining.

    Let us know how it goes. (I’m very interested in plotting vs. not plotting right now.)

    Good luck!

  6. Amanda J. on July 26, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I came from Natalie’s blog, so hi! πŸ™‚ Also, it’s a very nice blog you have here, and your mermaid book sounds fantastic.

    Anyway, I get books both ways, with characters first and with plot first. I never know how a book’s going to come to me anymore lol. But it’s always good to try new things!

  7. Michelle Davidson Argyle on July 27, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Ooo, good luck! I don’t know if I could pull that off. πŸ™‚

  8. Renee Collins on July 27, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Shelly-Ha! I’m looking forward to seeing what she has in store for me. πŸ™‚

    Jessie-No name yet. And I’ve never had a character come first either. It’s weird.

    I may yet need that Dr. Pepper. . .

    Natalie-I can see that already. Because the more you know a character, the more you know what they want. Plot potential right there.

    Sara-haha, we can commiserate together. :)Good luck to you too!

    Miriam-I’ll definitely let you know. I’m quite interested to see myself.

    Amanda-Thanks! And yes, trying new things is what I think I really need right now. πŸ™‚

    Michelle-heh, thanks. I’m not sure I can either.

  9. Tere Kirkland on July 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Sounds like y’all are gonna have a lot of fun together. πŸ˜‰

    Is it spec fic? Or realistic? Can you get away with just writing/journaling in her pov for a while until a plot presents itself?

    If it is spec fic, I say do a complete character profile on her including her hometown/background (or whatever, maybe she moved a lot). That might help you figure out a plot.

    I had a character who was mouthy like that once. She made me give her a supernatural power because she was bored with the way I was plotting the story.

  10. LeishaMaw on July 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I can’t wait to meet this girl in your head. πŸ™‚

  11. Bombshell Char on July 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Oh Miss Renee. If only I was a plot girl. That sounds lovely, then maybe I could finish a novel rather than just laugh it up with a character for two years. But I suppose the grass is always greener.

    By the way, if you’re not following this blog, you might be interested. And if you enter the contest, make sure you tell them I sent you!

  12. Jill Wheeler on July 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Good luck! I love it when that happens!

  13. Renee Collins on July 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Tere- πŸ™‚ I think my character will let me keep her contemporary. For now. Who knows what I’ll discover though . . .

    Leisha-Thanks! πŸ™‚

    Charlotte! Great to see you here on my humble blog. πŸ™‚ You know, plot is a comfortable thing in many ways. With an outline in hand, you always know where you’re going next. Trouble is, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to write that scene.

    oh, btw, thanks for the link! I’ll definitely check it out. πŸ™‚

    Jill-Thanks! It’s definitely a fun, new experience.

  14. Kasie West on July 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    How fun. I love it when characters take over. πŸ™‚ You can do it.

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  16. Candice on August 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    It’s like gaining a new best friend that slowly morphs into your worst enemy as the book progresses.