Do I claim to know the answer to life? Umm, no. I do, however, have plenty of random accumulative advice that will in no means help you, but may put a smile on your face.
1. When writing a novel, never let your character take the reigns. They'll kill you.
This is kind of a reply to Go Teen Writer's post about how to not let your characters control you. If you haven't read it, check it out, here: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-to-show-your-first-draft-who-is-boss.html
Now that you're finished with that, let me just say, it's far more dangerous than Ms. Morelli put it up to be. I'm not doubting her genius (Oh no, I could never do that!) but she doesn't really touch on the most important part of why you SHOULDN'T let your character's take the reigns.
What do I mean by that?
Well, you see, when you allow your character's to develop their own minds, you have to keep in mind that their mind is a stem from your mind, which is basically them taking over your mind, and when that happens, that's when we get all of those "crazy" artist/ writers. If you're not careful with this deadly artist disease (not just writers...), you could completely lose yourself, and you're characters will become you, and there will be none of the real you left. Meaning that you'll never see your family again because you created a character which took over your body and kicked you out. (Host reference? Anyone? No? Ok.)
This is especially detrimental when it comes to writers (and other artist) of dark/"murder-y"/serial killer/"horror-y" novels. I mean you CAN see why. When those characters take over your mind, or rather if you allow them to take over your mind, then you have writers going out there stabbing people. In the words of the great James Patterson, "Here's the idea for a book he's always wanted to write. It's about a novelist who is obsessed -- the kind of thing Stephen King does so well. In order to write a better book, a great book, he actually murders people to see what it's like." (Woman's Murder Club Book 1). I think it's proof enough that James Patterson thought of it (and wrote an excellent novel about an author who did. (Spoiler Alert!) If you haven't read it, go and read it now!)
That's what happens, accept it!