Thursday, March 1, 2012

Of Teens and Plots and Paranormality

Have you ever wondered if authors’ plots change directions mid-stream? Sometimes I’m as curious to find out what's going to happen next in my own stories as I am when reading someone else’s book.

Here’s the plot summary I wrote as I began to write my latest teen novel:

Hoping to surround himself with a family of his own creation, seventeen year old Ben uses his inheritance and sly maneuvering to lure emancipated teens into living in an old rooming house. With no adults to turn to, the five teens trust and distrust one another, fall in love and in hate, and harbor good and evil secrets. When the new girl suspects there’s a body in the basement Ben’s whole plan unravels in several directions. Can Ben fix things before five already broken lives are totally destroyed? Or will his willingness to keep secrets and defy authority turn him away from a hero’s path? Or, maybe, the new girl has better plans.

Well, I got a few chapters in and those darn teens got all trendy on me. I wasn’t expecting to write a paranormal story, but my characters threw themselves into another genre right before my eyes. It’s kind of exciting and makes writing fun. Here’s my latest summary:

What do a teen mom, a schizophrenic boy, a homeless girl, and a tattooed goth girl have in common? They all live in unsupervised disharmony in a rooming house arranged by seventeen year old honor student Ben. Ben has a unique plan that unravels as his housemates suffer nightmares, demon-possession, and then paranormal powers. When the authorities step in to separate the kids they bond in an unexpected way that puts Ben’s plan back on track.

This story is about a third of the way written and I anticipate more changes because I can’t trust those kids to do what I tell ’em.