Out Of Character…

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 comments

  1. Tonya R. Moore says:

    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!

    Like

    • 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!

      Like

  2. 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.

    Like

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