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?