Friday, March 7, 2014

In Which I Have an Argument With a Bardess

Not too long ago, I found myself having to do something I almost never do: restart a scene. There were so many things wrong with it that I couldn't stand leaving it until revisions. But I decided, hey, if I'm going to do this, why not have a little fun with it and see how it feels to my characters to rewind and reset the scene? I figured it would take no more than a paragraph, but, well, things got a bit out of hand.

[Ok, this really isn’t working. AUTHOR POWERS INVOKED. REWIND INITIATED.]
Suddenly, the room around Dea blurred into a mass of mingled colors and vague shapes. She felt as if she were being pulled backward and yet wasn’t moving at all. The last several minutes began to fade from her mind.
 Ariana’s voice cut through the strangeness. “What is going on?”
[REWIND IN PROGRESS. Nothing you need to worry about, Ariana.]
“I demand an answer!” The world began shaking ever so slightly. “Now.”

[REWIND IN PROGRESS. Ariana. Relax. It’ll be over in a few minutes and you won’t even know it happened.]
Dea wondered who Ariana was speaking to. She herself could hear no reply to Ariana’s demands, yet Ariana was obviously conversing with someone. “What is this, sorcery? You have no right to manipulate us.”

[REWIND IN PROGRESS. Actually, I do. Will you please just relax?]
“Not until I get an answer.”
 The world jerked violently. It stopped moving for a moment and then jerked again as if caught on something. Dea fought a feeling of nausea. She heard a wail from Micah and Cara and Keely’s whimpers, but couldn’t seem to figure out where they were.  

[ERROR. REWIND JAMMED. ERROR. Ariana! Behave! You’re a bardess!]
“Yes, I am a bardess, and therefore, I have a right to know what is happening. I claim the Right of the Talekeeper.”

[Confusticate and bebother you, Ariana.]
Gwen’s voice slid through the jerking. “Ariana? Do you know something about this?” She sounded as unsettled as Dea felt. Other voices- Dustin, Hunter, Rachelle, Abbie- echoed her question.
 Ariana alone seemed to remain unfazed. “I will soon. Do not worry, Gwen. I have things under control.”

[Let it go, you meddling, pig-headed bardess!]
 “That is hardly polite. Tell me.”

[Gah. Fine. It’s a rewind. I’m resetting the scene. Will you let it go already?]
The jerking stopped and the smooth movement resumed. Ariana’s voice sounded cool, calm, and smug. “Thank you.”

[REWIND RESUMED. You’re not welcome. I swear, I’m going to revoke bard and bardess powers.]
 “No, you’re going to write a new story in which you can actually make use of them.”

[REWIND IN PROGRESS. Dragons eat you, bardess.]
“I’ll take that as a yes.”

Suddenly, all memory of the strange experience disappeared from Dea’s mind. The blur around her shifted and resolved itself into a street and a row of nearly identical small three-story houses. Gwen and Ariana stood in the doorway of one of the houses. 
Yeah. Ariana and I haven't been getting along all that well lately. I think it's her version of revenge for something I did to her two books ago . . . Apparently she was more upset about it than I thought. 

What about you? Have your characters ever surprised you in some way? Have you ever had a conversation with your characters? Please tell me in the comments! Also, please check out my guest post at Awkwordly Emma, where I blog about one of my current obsessions: The Tales of Goldstone Wood.

Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. For some reason, I really like the Author dialogue format where you have the [] parentheses around your words.

    I've had several conversations with Barras, most of which he gets the better of me. And some of my CaC2 characters have surprised me when I started writing their backstories—Cald, for instance, and Jaraal.

    1. Thank you very much! I'm glad you think it's good!

      I remember some of those conversations with Barras. And interesting! Have any of these surprises been revealed on the roleplay itself? Or not yet?

    2. Not yet, because I only started working seriously on backstories a few days ago. I hope to reveal them, though.

    3. Ah, got it. Looking forward to hearing about these backstories!

  2. characters most certainly have surprised me. One when he suddenly revealed that he wasn't only who I thought he was but the infamous....Oh...I guess I can't tell you that. And I don't know if that book will ever be published. But if it'll find out then. I know, I'm awful.

    1. Gah! Now you'd better publish, if only I can find out about this character. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Haha, my characters do that all the time! I'll tell them to do something (that in retrospect is usually a terrible idea), and they'll give me a look, then glance at each other, then moan, then cross their arms and threaten to call their agents. Sometimes they'll shuffle through the motions, speaking in the blandest voices possible and ignoring dialogue tags. : )

    1. Haha, glad I'm not the only one. And that might explain a lot of my recent scenes . . . O_o

  4. Hi! Just stumbled on your blog, (from Marissa meyers blog) but I love it. Just curious.. are you a published author? I love all your posts and by the way, my name is Adele not anonymous.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like my blog! Published author? Me? No, but I wish I was! I have one or two things that I'd like to try publishing someday, so we'll see. :) Nice to meet you, Adele, and thanks for checking out my blog!

  5. Hi, me adele again. Not really a character problem but... my scenes are SO not like I want. Ashlyn (my character's name) does crazy things. And she's supposed to be a tomboy but she just bought a fancy dress!

    1. Oh my. Maybe you need to reevaluate who she is, then. I've had to do that several times.