Writhing and Reveling

I’m on the third Anne book now, Anne of the Island. Last night, while I was staying up way too late reading it, I ran across the funniest scene that rang all too true with me as a writer.

For the next fortnight Ann writhed or reveled, according to mood, in her literary pursuits. Now she would be jubilant over a brilliant idea, now despairing because some contrary character would not behave properly. Diana could not understand this.

Make them do as you want them to,” she said.

“I can’t,” mourned Anne. “Averil is such an unmanageable heroine. She will do and say things I never meant her to. Then that spoils everything that went before and I have to write it all over again.” (89)

I feel your pain, Anne. There are more than a few of my characters who are still causing me this kind of grief. I take comfort in the fact that it means my characters are developed well enough to have a mind of their own.

What about you? Do you find yourself struggling with unmanageable characters? What other writing quirks do you have that non-writers just don’t understand?



  1. YAYAYAYAYAAAYYY!!! More Anne!!! I adore her. She truly understands the plight of a writer. I honestly believe every writer should read the Anne books. They’ll draw so much from them.
    Anywho… People often give me looks when I say, “Oh! I need to write that down for my books!” and then I run off to jot something in my phone or on a piece of paper or something. But I don’t care. Inspiration strikes when it wants, and it doesn’t strike as often as we’d like.
    As for characters, it’s not so much managing them as it is getting angry at stuff they do. Or stuff I put them through that they just don’t want to be in. But more, it’s managing the humongous cast of characters in the series. That’s the most difficult, knowing when to introduce them, when to let them shine, when to keep them in the background, if they’re really necessary to the series, etc. It’s so tiring.

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