Those Wonder Moments When The Character Takes Over

There I was, minding my own business, writing with a blanket around my shoulders (It's frick'n cold in Alabama right now)... you know, the usual, when something happened. Eric, my angry, forgetful, brutally honest, and shamelessly unapologetic vampire was getting himself into trouble for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to wrong woman.

I was sure she was going to throw a punch. Absolutely certain, but instead, the chapter ended. Now, that happens. In Crossed, I jumped back and forth between two characters in one of the big fight sequences. Or, in other places, a scene ends mid fight and I kick over to the next chapter either in a different point of view (maybe to Talbot, Eric's cat-like friend or Tabitha, Eric's bride and fellow vampire), or just to give Eric a chance to start the next chapter (and the fight) off with something funny and obnoxious, but not this time.

This time, I jumped outside the fight scene altogether. I don't think that had ever happened to me before. I wasn't even sure why, but I rolled with it because my process is very organic (I'm a Pantser) and man, those are some of my favorite moments writing. Not when the story goes in a direction I hadn't planned (because to be honest that's a pain in butt sometimes), but when, as I'm writing a character's POV, we click and I have that "Aha" moment. Those are awesome.

The following is spoiler (a vague one) for HUNTED (Void City, book four) so if your worried or haven't read CROSSED yet, just skip down a paragraph. In this case, the thought process went like this: Greta (Eric's vampiric daughter) was on the roof nearby. (We know this, because that's where I left her in the previous chapter.) Vampire's have incredible senses, particularly their hearing. Greta loves her "Dad" and I had forgotten a threat Greta made in a previous book, but Greta hadn't, and as I typed the words: "What did I tell you I'd do?" I remembered exactly what Greta was talking about and I darn near giggled when I said, "Oh crap. It's on now."

Of course, the best part, for a writer (or this one anyway) is when your editor notes one of those moments with a "love this" or, later, once it's on the shelf, a reader or reviewer highlights one of those moments as their favorite or a point where they were pleasantly surprised or shocked (in a good way) to see the novel go the way it went. So, for you writers out there, does this ever happen to you? Doesn't it rock when it does? And for you readers, can you tell when it has happened?


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