I’ve learned a lot in recent months about the vast differences between writing for adults and writing for teenagers. The biggest detail? That teenage characters, much like teens themselves, won’t take crap from anyone–least of all their creator.
I’ve said before that my characters speak to me, that the process of writing can be described as hearing voices in my head. Well, what do you do when your teen character stops talking? You can take the easy route and walk away (which is what I did when I left Vlad to continue work on Rapture) or you can stay and figure out what you did that made him clam up. Fortunately, I had the good sense to stop and listen to what Vlad had to say, despite my progress on Rapture. Yesterday Vlad really opened up…to the tune of 2,000 words.
I’m still not completely sure what I did to tick him off in the first place, but whatever it was, Vlad seems to have forgiven me. My theory is that I was probably dumbing down the language or trying to force him into doing something he didn’t want to do, but these are just theories. Honestly, I’m so thankful that he’s talking to me, it doesn’t matter one cent why he stopped. One thing’s for sure: I was the one who shut him up.
Characters will do that (moody things that they are). The key is knowing to listen when they finally do start talking again.