The Voices Told Me To Write It


If other writers are anything like me, they write what characters tell them to write and don’t always immediately understand why things unfold the way they do. This happened with my current adult paranormal WIP, which is 87% complete. I knew my human heroine possessed otherworldly abilities, yet I didn’t know where those powers stemmed from, only the cost she paid for using them. I also knew her fate was tied to the immortal hero’s and that their first encounter would change both of them fundamentally.

It wasn’t until my critique partners (CPs) Dawn Allen and L.L. McKinney sent a tidal wave through my WIP that I fully understood how deep the characters’ connection ran. Immortals have a lot of history to sift through. Sometimes, its tough to decide which part of their past is pertinent to the current plot. I knew something major in my hero’s past was coming back for him and that it was somehow connected to the heroine. My CPs helped me dig deeper with the hero to learn how his actions in the past could affect the heroine centuries later.

The fun part? The foundation for our discovery was there all along. The new information we uncovered fell into place like lost puzzle pieces.

I LOVE my CPs, which includes Nicole MacLaughlin who meets with us once a month. They are my girls and without them, I don’t know where my writing would be. They challenge me to push harder, dig deeper, stay true to my characters, etc.  We don’t always agree with one another, but when we do…magic! And goosebumps.

Have you experienced and “AH!” moment in your writing? Do you push yourself to dig deeper? How do you know when you’ve gone deep enough? Do you have awesome CPs you want to give a shout out to?


11 comments on “The Voices Told Me To Write It

  1. lbdiamond says:

    Awesome!!! It’s certainly a journey getting to know our characters. I learn about them as I write too. Some people use character sketches and detail every bit. I can’t do that. I have to let the characters evolve on their own. Guess that’s how my mind works.

    • I’ve tried the character sketches thing too. Didn’t work for me either. Now, I just note physical characteristics (can’t have blue eyes in Ch 1 and green in Ch 5). It’s not like we can stop the characters from behaving outside of the lines in the sketch anyway. 🙂

  2. Vicki Orians says:

    My CPs have been a huge help with the book I’m currently working on. I just finished my 5th draft, and it wasn’t until this one that I even worked with CPs. They just told me that my book feels like I squished two together. Which means I have to split it in half and start over. Sort of like your tidal wave. 🙂 But, I know they’re right, and I know if I listen to them, it’ll improve my story tremendously.

    I don’t think you can ever dig deep enough. I think there’s always something to learn about your characters, just like how there’s always something to learn about your friends and yourself.

    • A fresh set or sets of eyes are über beneficial. CPs are good about helping figure out why something doesn’t work and superstar CPs like mine help brainstorm ways to fix it. Sounds like you have superstars on your team too. 🙂

  3. Don’t you love it when that happens?

    I was struggling to figure out how the final conflict would unfold at the end of my HR. I truly wasn’t sure, but I knew the few ideas I had were merely sidestepping it, not making the most of it. Then I read Save The Cat and had an ah-ha moment when I read about the ‘dark night ‘o the soul moment.’ Once I decided that, everything else fell into place. 😉

    • Nice. I like how you’re thinking outside the box with a book on screenwriting. It’s so easy to give into the sidestepping. Congrats on pushing past (or is it passed – my CPs know my struggle on this and I know you wrote a Grammar Police Monday post about it, yet it still alludes me) the temptation.

  4. dawnall says:

    A good support team may have saved my sanity several times in this process. Thanks for the Skype session today! I was totally productive afterward. 🙂

  5. Wonderful to have such helpful and supportive CPs, and sounds like your novel is coming along well and will be a great read!

  6. Jaye Shields says:

    Crit Partners are the best. I’m a pretty descriptive writer, so my critters always let me know when I’m getting carried away, or remind me that I’m writing romance, and that I’ve included the kind of details that make romance readers queasy 😉

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