Character Detour: Melodrama Hazards Await

My romantic comedy took a detour today, totally going off-script for the funny and sexy scene I had planned. What was supposed to lead to a great sex scene now has my two characters digging up painful parts of their past. I’ve tried to rewrite it but the two characters seem to insist this is what is supposed to happen now.

The danger with continuing on my planned path is something I used to hate in books. The dreadful “I hate you now let’s go to bed” plot device. Maybe I’m just weird but I don’t sleep with people I hate. Or even dislike alot. Or a little. So my characters don’t do it either. Yeah, yeah…they should do as I say, not as I do, right?

There are a few things I’m trying to do in order to soften the scene, make it less painful and more impactful. I keep tweaking the dialogue, trying to find ways to express harsh truths in a not-so-harsh way. Tricky, let me tell you. There aren’t many ways to say “you’re an ass” without sounding pretentious.

My other option is to change their GMC, the internal conflict in particular. I need their conflict to resonate with each other so they can empathize with the struggle of the other and at the same time find clarity for their own conflict. For example, both characters have been on the road for much of their adult lives. One knows it’s a way to hide from and avoid a bigger conflict but the other thinks it’s a byproduct of the job only and not a means of avoidance. Guess who gets a pot/kettle lesson?

And I keep reminding myself it’s a first draft. Who knows what will happen for these two by the time the words “The End” are ready to hit the page?

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2 responses to “Character Detour: Melodrama Hazards Await

  1. Kathleen, I’m a pantser, and those things happen to me all the time. The characters take you where you never intended, that’s why my latest WIP went from a single to a 2 or 3 book deal. It got too damn long.

    • I start off as a plotter, needing a direction to head with the story. But lately I seem to end up pantsing the plot. Drives my type A personality a little cuckoo, let me tell you!!

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