Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Got Character?

On my agent's loop the other day, I asked about my newest WIP and whether the background I had for my character was a bit *too* much for Young Adult. Mainly I asked because the character chose me. Once I started plotting, her name and her background came through strong and I found myself staring at potential controversy. Hence the reason why I turned to authors I trust to ask about what would be coonsidered too much. I sparked interest, brought worry, and received a little bit of backlash.

Some worried about their young girls reading about a character who has such emotional problems that she turns to extreme measures. (Sorry I'm being vague here, but I'm protecting the concept.)

Others were very encouraging and others still came up with alternative backgrounds close to my original in case the book gets shot down because of the X factor.

Even asking the question was an eye-opening experience and for a couple of days...I let the story go. I didn't want to upset anyone or seem like I was purposefully going for shock marketing.

Only...the character wouldn't let me go.

I thought of putting this taboo X Factor into a book geared towards older audiences...maybe that new genre "New Adult" for college-aged people would work.

"But I'm not in college," said the voice in my head.

LOL I swear I think writer's are borderline schizo with all the character activity in our brain.

I once blogged about Grey, the side-kick to Vic in my novel Murder Creek, and how he corrected me when I failed to crack a joke about something Vic said to him in a scene. I was showering when I heard "You think I'd let that sh*t slide?" or something along those lines and sure enough...when I went back to edit I channeled Grey and had a humorous back and forth to put into the book.

Now, my MC Niabi is calling me a coward for considering changing her age to something more "acceptable".

I'm conflicted. The story I was originally writing (with my occasional writing partner Vas) seems to be taking a different twist. I wonder if I can keep with the original SL (Story Line) with a background XFactor this big. If I can shift it down in importance to the story but keep the impact of it hard and relevant.

It's a lot of pressure, and I pretty much just have to plow through it and see how it comes out...and I know Niabi will let me know if I start writing something she doesn't feel is legit.

So what do you all think? Does the character choose you? Have you ever written a character who you felt deep but worried about transferring to the page?