Iron Man, Where Are You? Or When Your Characters Turn On You

Evil abounds, creeping around me.  When did my friend become my foe?  As I tap the keys on my computer, a character I always thought was my BFF turns on me.  She was my buddy, my pal.  No longer. What happened?

No more does she speak sprightly dialogue. She sounds dull. No more does she dance through action packed scenes.  Instead she plods.  She drags.  She sits on her bum and sighs, “Ho, Hum. When will this book ever end?”  She polishes her nails and glares at me.  “I’m sick of this book and I don’t want to do your way anymore.  Since it’s all your fault, you have to go.”   Clustered closely behind her are the other characters, nodding in agreement. A chill stabs through me and I fear their wrath as their voices rise against me. Small dragons of despair hover around the action scenes.

I shudder as I avert my eyes from the shouting words and angry characters on my computer screen. “Help!”  I call.  “Help! I seek the avenger of evil. Iron Man, where are you? The dreaded mid-book crisis is upon me!”

Zooming through the night, Iron Man appears.  My hero to the rescue! My characters grimace and shrink back into the corners of their scenes. Iron Man hands me an extra suit and I step into my boots.  Quickly my Iron Man suit slips around my body and I am fully armored and ready to repel all invaders.

I shoot my wrist rays at those defiant characters. “You will obey!” I order those backstabbing former friends. “This is my story and I am the boss.  If you don’t like it, then I will kill you off, for the greater good of the finished book.”

“No, no.”  Their pathetic cries plead with me to spare them, but I am without mercy.  “You–you will act in this scene without complaining.  And you–you are out completely.  Cut.  Out.  Gone.”   Their arrows of protest fall harmlessly against my armored suit and I wade through their midst, slaying the dragons of despair and welding my weapons of mass destruction on the limping book plot.

Soon I have those reluctant performers whipped into shape.  They snap out their dialogue lines as though their very lives depend on my approval. My plot floats.  My mid-book crisis turns and becomes one fantastic novel.  All because of Iron Man.

Don’t I wish!

Without Iron Man, how do you solve your mid-book crisis?



Filed under About writing

6 responses to “Iron Man, Where Are You? Or When Your Characters Turn On You

  1. Very fanciful post, you ‘bring your characters to life’ literally. Very creative!

  2. Will

    Hah! Sue, I can safely say you don’t LOOK like a comics fan. Where’s the black glasses with tape? The scraggly hair?
    When I first saw your title, I had a thought of what I’d read about comic authors, as writers themselves. With the big characters like Iron Man, and especially I recall them saying with Spider-Man for some reason, they sometimes found the story was failing mid-way too. They couldn’t seem to work in the same snappy patter (both those guys are good at that), and they’d have a story-meeting. These authors would say it was as if the character just didn’t want the story to go that way- and they’d have to go back and rewrite to get back the “feel” of the tale again.
    So whatever works- but be careful when you call on IM, Sue. He may have other ideas!!

    • Sue

      I must confess. My son is the comic book fan. Even though he is nearing his 40th birthday, he recently had a garage sale find of a box of comic books that thrilled him as much as if he were still 12 years old.

      Thanks for the warning. Now I’ll know to watch out for Iron Man when I call on him. He might side with my characters. LOL.

  3. Excellent, loved that post, well done.

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