One thing that always makes me happy is when other people discuss my characters with me, as if they’re real. I have a handful of beta readers and friends who make little comments about what Maddie would like, or how Darrick totally did the right thing, and that makes my little writer’s heart extremely content.
There are some people out there who declare that their characters have a mind of their own, and the writer isn’t in control of anything that happens, and while I don’t agree with that, they do have a point. After an author has worked for a long time to develop a character, then it is almost as if the character starts taking over. To explain the concept better, imagine your best friend. In all likelihood, you can predict how she would react to certain situations, and it wouldn’t work out too well if you’d try and make her react in a different way, just because you thought your way was better.
My characters react certain ways in certain situations, because that’s who they are. And, since I didn’t know the characters as well back when I was writing the plot, then sometimes the plot is totally outdated and needs help, because hey, the character isn’t going to step out of character just to make the plot work better. So when that happens, it sorta does feel like the characters have minds of their own.
And now I’m off to edit again. I hope y’all have a fantastic and victorious day!
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What about you? Have you ever caught yourself thinking about a character (in a book you’ve written or read), as if they’re real?
2 thoughts on “Writerly Musings”
I have definitely had characters that have practically come to life in my head. I'd do/say something and think, “That's something Carmen would say…”
I agree with you that the author always retains control over the characters, characters do become somewhat set in stone over time. They COULD be changed, of course, but doing so would risk disconnecting them from the writer… which is never good.
Haha, isn't that a great feeling? (I mean, as long as it's a nice character.)
Good point! I think it's fun when characters feel real. (My sister says I take the whole “invisible friend” thing that some children have, to a whole new level.) 😉