It started out so well. You created your world, you named your characters and you plotted the story. You were writing along happily.
And then, the characters suddenly did something that you hadn’t planned.
You’re staring at the words on the screen and have no idea where that particular twist came from. You’re both surprised and annoyed.
Your characters have become so real in your mind that they are starting to have their own lives. And they let you know that some of the things you planned for them will not work.
This is quite awesome because your subconscious knows more about human behavior than you do. You have soaked up information about that since you were a small child. And now, that background information is helping to make your characters more real.
Listen to them. Argue with them.
But don’t force them into actions they resist. They – and your secret writers’ mind – know better.
(Full disclosure: I’m not much of a planner when I write. I do listen closely to my characters, however.)
You don’t have to believe me, of course. I would just like to suggest an experiment: Listen to your characters. Let them develop and grow, and have a bit of a say in their fate.
I believe your story will be better for it.
Have your characters ever misbehaved? And how did that turn out?
Image source: F. Moebius
PS: There’s a message board I created for your, my dear writers and readers. Feel free to join and share your experiences, your questions, and your revelations: Writers’ Dream Coach Message Board