From The Writing Cave

Characters Run Amok

June 1, 2021

So I have a confession. Sometimes I don’t love my characters. It never starts out that way. I always love my characters in the beginning. They’re all bright and shiny and new. They are fun. As I write and I get to know them better, sometimes they become a bitโ€ฆbossy. Let me explain.

I always start out with an idea of where I want to go with the story. I plot a few (very few) points that I want to hit with my story, and I go forth and write. Things go along smoothly for the most part until a characterโ€ฆacts up. They suddenly pull a hard left, and I have no idea what they’re doing.

That whole dancing bar scene in Break and Enter? Never supposed to happen. Dani being afraid of water in Hit and Run? I had no clue until I was writing the scene with her and Gage at the docks, and she wouldn’t get out of the Jeep.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I am the writer, and theoretically, I have control over my characters. But, in reality? It doesn’t work that way. When I try to stop my characters from doing certain things or force my characters to do other things, my characters stop talking to me.

In reality, I guess my subconscious has a plan that my conscious mind is just not aware of. It’s part of the creative process, but I have to tell you, sometimes it’s damned inconvenient. If my characters would just go along and do what I want them to do, writing would be much easier. But, on the other hand, where’s the fun if it’s too easy?