A strange thing happened to me some months ago. I experienced a waking dream, a vision of sorts. In this dream/vision I saw a lovely young woman in a beautiful blue silk gown dancing at a ball. I felt her...for a split second in this strangest of waking dreams I was her. I had the oddest feeling I was glimpsing a fragment of my own distant past through the haze of time. Her name was whispered in my ear. I felt the need to write her story and yet I hadn't a clue what her story was. Only that glimpse.
I put pen to paper and slowly words began to fill a page and then another and another. Other characters in this young woman’s story began to take shape. The story begins with a tragedy in her young life. A close and loving relationship with her father is revealed and the loving relationship between her parents. There is animosity between her father and her paternal grandfather. Her grandfather’s distain and unmitigated rudeness towards her mother unfolds. Quietly standing in the background is her grandmother. The woman married to this rude incorrigible man. She is a woman of quiet grace and dignity who unconsciously commands the attention of all when she enters a room. Despite the many trials and tribulations in her life, she maintains integrity of spirit unlike her husband.
About five thousand words into the story the grandmother emerges and dominates. For some reason her story unfolds before my eyes with ease. For a while I was oblivious to the fact this story was veering away from my original MC. Her story began to fade as I unconciously moved in a new direction. When I realized I was losing my beloved Main Character I put the story aside in frustration.
Last week it occurred to me maybe this story is indeed about the grandmother. Maybe I should stop resisting and scrap the first couple thousand words. Did you ever have a character in your head and have her opt out on you?