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?

Anne’s beauty

The sun went away this weekend, and so did the power, for a while. I love autumn, but I wasn’t ready for it to come storming in the last week of August, blowing down trees and power lines all over. It’s supposed to rain all week, which means a driveway full of soggy pine needles that are going to get tracked all over the house.

But it also means that the grass is going to green up again, the fires will hopefully die down, the leaves are going to change, and one happy little toddler is going to dance around outside in her puddle boots. It means I can go through dozens of cans of pumpkin and warm the house with the oven until it all smells like cookies and bread and muffins.

I’ve been reading Anne of Avonlea, and I just love Anne’s ability to see beauty in so many things that other people see only as ordinary or even ugly. I think that’s a talent that could do a lot of good in the world, especially in the world of writers.

There’s a beautiful scene where Anne and Gilbert are discussing their hopes and dreams, and Anne says, in her dreamy way, “I’d like to add some beauty to life . . . some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.” (54)

A worthwhile goal, no?