I developed the main character of my current novel to be one way, but once I started writing for her, she turn into someone else. A change like that can alter the tone and sometimes even the direction of a story.
It’s funny how your characters can rebel against their “design”.
On paper, I developed Sylvia to be a sweet, caring, quirky young girl who, through her desire to help people, could win the hearts of those around her. That’s how I initially saw her in my head. When I finally started writing for her though, she turned out to be an arrogant, bossy, little thing who routinely rubs adults the wrong way.
As a writer, an artist, I really didn’t want to limit the expression of my character to even my own predefined parameters.
I had a choice to make. Do I curb these new characteristics to make her fit the box I designed for her, or do I let her be who the writing is telling she is, who SHE is telling me she is?
I chose to follow her lead.
After all, the most important part of her was still there, her deep-rooted desire to help people, which is key to the story. It’s just she expresses and acts upon it in a different way, with a bit more drama and conflict, I might add.
Now, I have a character, a main character, who adds even more spice to the story. She, herself, has become that much more interesting because I usually don’t know what she’s going to say or do from scene to scene. Sure, I know what must be done in any given scene, but the fun is seeing how she gets it done or how she reacts to things now that she is a rebel rouser.
Have you ever designed a character to be one way, but as you wrote for them, the turned out another? Were they designed to be good but turned out to have a bad streak or the other way around, bad with an unforeseen good side to them? Or did they just level out with a bit of both?
4 thoughts on “Out Of Character…”
My characters do this to me all the time too! Although–truth be told, it always turns out better when I go with the flow. No matter how I plan out a story, I never quite know how it will end because it takes on a life of its own and evolves in ways I never planned. It can be frustrating but this, I think, is a good thing!
Yes, I good thing indeed! Like you, whenever I’ve gone with the flow, it’s always turned out better than what I had planned. I don’t even question it anymore, I just obey, lol!
I had a character which I had planned one way, along with the plot and the character changes led to a different plot altogether. I guess I am just the medium by which my characters come to life. They are the boss. They change up the entire plot sometimes as well as changing themselves.
“I’m just the medium by which my characters come to life.” I love that, and it’s SO true!
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