Character Hijack! by Sue Perry
Sometimes a character overtakes an author. This is not new news, but I never expected it to happen to me.
I know I'm not alone in this: however much my books distort or transform reality, they always build on a foundation of personal experience. As far as I can tell, that foundation exists for all writers and I bet it's the reason that books - even the wildest fantasies - always teach us about people.
Here's the wrinkle. Sure, I'm everywhere in all the characters, but my main character Nica has hijacked my writing. Of course she narrates the novel - that's her job. But she has also been writing my blog posts. My book reviews. And my work emails. This started midway through the first novel. I tried to shut her down during the hiatus between volumes, with limited success. Now that I'm deep into the writing of book two in the series, I feel compelled to channel Nica, because it keeps me in touch with my narrator. But I miss having a separate identity and I wish she'd stop making waves that I get stuck riding.
Or do I? I confess I wouldn't mind being more like Nica. She's a lot more flexible and adventurous. We're both smartasses, but somehow she's funnier. She acts fearlessly, regardless of how afraid she might be. She's innately upbeat and optimistic, despite a slew of personal tragedies and the very noir world she inhabits. Perhaps I should just be grateful that I haven't been visited by her nemeses, Warty Sebaceous Cysts. And relieved to know that Nica can't take over completely, because she's not a writer.
As currently envisioned, Nica of Los Angeles is the first of four novels. I guess I'd better come up with some additional FRAMES story lines, in case Nica never goes away.