Terry Pratchett once said in an interview that you’ve got to keep an eye on your secondary characters, or they’ll take over the show. Turn your back for five minutes and there they are, merrily rearranging the plot to suit themselves, the blighters, and generally making more work for the poor put-upon writer.
I thought I might avoid that with Trinity Moon, since I was working from a synopsis (a heretofore unheard-of event, I might add, which has proved helpful and frustrating in equal measure). Everything’s chugging along nicely, and I come to an action scene where Gair throws a lock on Ne’er-do-well No. 1 and laying his sword across the fellow’s neck, threatens to cut his throat.
Whereupon the strangest thing happens. Ne’er-do-well No. 1 takes a firm grip on My Hero’s family jewels and purrs, in a very feminine voice: “Not if I geld you first, Empire.”
Eh? Where did she come from?
<scrolls through preceding paragraphs>
Nope. No girls there. WTF?
So I continue typing, to see where I will be taken, and suddenly she’s sitting cross-legged on the table, twirling her dagger through her fingers and eating my dates. Gair’s dates. Whatever. The saucy minx. She’s got backstory, she’s got attitude, she’s sensual and snarky and inordinately fond of knives, and she’s made herself right at home in the story without so much as a by-your-leave.
I’ve just been mugged by my own imagination. And I didn’t feel a thing.