When characters have to get their own bloody way…

I was a third of the way through writing ‘Blackwood’ when this woman galloped into the book holding a bloody sword. I tried to ignore her but she kept waving her sword around until I was forced to write her in. Such was her nature that she immediately took over and asserted herself as a main character without even a polite ‘hello’. She went on to become the essence and meaning of the whole book, and completely altered the plot.

For the better, I should add. Thank you, Christina.

Above is a sneaky peek of the plot map before Christina the Crusader scribbled her name all over it!

For more on ‘Blackwood’, going here would be the thing to do 🙂


  1. Farming, comedy and sci-fi sounds like an intriguing mix! I’ll be interested to see what you come up with! I do love the way Stephen King reuses characters, as if they’ve been reincarnated, and you only notice if you’re an avid reader. I have a few characters that cross books in the same series and it’s like inviting an old friend to dinner when they appear.

    It’s definitely a good idea to sketch out a rough outline of your book as it goes along – major events, dates, character arcs… just for continuity.


  2. I love the picture! It is a work of art in its own right. Can I ask, do you do this whenever you write? The reason I am curious is that I am just editing a first draft of a novel I have been working on and was grappling with trying to keep it consistent as I went through which wasn’t always easy.

    In essence I wrote it as I went along and let the ideas flow which worked pretty well (I even have a Hermit Harry by strange coincidence – what’s in a name eh?) but I was pondering that there are probably numerous tools I could use to help in the process.


    1. Thanks Graham! How great that you’re writing a novel, and that you have a Harry the Hermit too. I wonder if it’s the same one!
      I don’t usually do a roadmap. This one was done to keep track of how everyone was interacting. I don’t usually have such a big cast.
      There are probably lots of tools, but I don’t think you can beat pen to paper for keeping track of things. There’s something about the flow of thoughts being quicker and more intuitive. I’m like you. I don’t plot – only if I’m stuck, and then rarely more than a couple of steps ahead. It feels like you’re telling yourself a story. Much more fun. What’s your novel about? Will it be on your blog?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I am going to explore publishing first. It is a comedic sci-fi story (best I can do in terms of genre description) set in a Yorkshire farming village…I like the idea of characters morphing across stories…I have seen Stephen King do it before now but that was between his own books…wonder if different authors have ever done it successfully before.

        I did find I went back and started making notes at one point simply so I knew where to look for key events when I had an idea but realised it needed to knit back into the story somehow, not that it is a huge book mind you. We will see where it ends up though now.


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