I love reading, and as a writer I like to broaden my scope by reading outside of my comfort zone, so that I can learn more about my craft.
When I started writing Decadent, I always planned for Lachlan to be the good guy and for his best friend Konnor to be the bad guy.
About halfway through writing the story, Konnor put his heels down and made a protest. He reminded me of something. He popped up one day and said - “I won’t let you do this to me! I’m not really a bad guy. You just don’t understand me yet.” And I realised he was right. He had more depth than I ever knew or planned.
So, the secrets started to eek out into the story, hinted at and eventually revealed at the end. I realised his secrets and his hidden depth was so great and unexplored, that I decided to give Konnor his own story, ‘The Other Side’. To let him show his ‘other side’ and to explain himself. The Other Side, is called so, not only because of Konnor’s secret depth, but also because his relationship with the other main character, Grayson, takes them to ‘the other side’ of friendship.
Little by little, through The Other Side, I saw a new side of Lachlan, who had been my little hero through the whole first book, Decadent. In Book 2, The Other Side, he became more and more withdrawn and selfish. When I came to write Book 3, Fallen Heart, he became the bad guy and Konnor was his victim. I never planned for it to be that way, it just happened as the characters took over writing the story.
My biggest lesson in writing, is that the characters write their own stories. They take on a life of their own and they dictate where the story is going, who they fall in love with and what happens next. Even if it goes against everything you planned for them. It’s not only the one thing I’ve learned since I started writing, but it’s also the one thing that I will always remember and never change.