Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sometimes I argue with my characters

Okay, I argue with my characters a LOT. Some writers might have control over their characters. I don't. Does that mean I'm clinically insane? Possibly. But you know what? If my characters didn't do unexpected things that go against everything I had planned...I'd probably get bored.

Still, it can be quite frustrating. I mean, they do stupid things like angst over a 'look' another character gave them. Or they do things that make NO sense. Like torment a character they really like even though they're seventeen and not six. Sometimes they completely screw up the plot by, say, deciding to run off and join a fight club instead of a band. They can be incredibly selfish. And ignorant. And annoying. Sometimes I want to create a lake or pool out of nowhere so another character can push them into it. Sometimes I worry that I've created a character that is too unlikable to exist in fiction.

But then I think about my friends, my family....just about anyone I know. Do I like them? Sure. Do they annoy the hell out of me at times? YES. And isn't the point to create characters so real you feel like you know them? Who wants to read about a character who always does the right or expected thing? Wouldn't that be boring? Maybe I'm just a dark cloud of a person, but characters who are always 'nice' piss me off! I'm usually going..dude, you're so phony. Your internal thoughts can't possibly be this tame!

So I'm going to continue to let my characters run the show...to a point. Sometimes they get far too involved in their conversations and I have to step in and cut them short. I'm basically just there to make sure they keep the plot moving along and don't get too OCD over insignificant details. But for the most part, I let them choose how to navigate the story and figure things out. The surprise is almost always worth it.

Next time I'll post an actual argument I've had with one of my characters. What about you--do you argue with your characters?

3 comments:

  1. Ha, this is great... I'd love to read an actual argument! And I'm SO glad I'm not alone! I don't argue with my characters but I do have therapy sessions - mostly one-on-one with my MC but sometimes family therapy or couples therapy if they're doing things that confuse me. Sometimes my characters make choices and forget to keep me posted as to their motivations - therapy sessions def. work! :)

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  2. I just started writing. (last week)
    I have this really not important character who is now stealing the show. She is so snarky. I didn't know this. But this is awesome.
    Have a great day!

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  3. Love it! I try to argue with my characters, but they keep interrupting me. So rude.

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