I won’t start this blog with the question, “Have you ever had a character take the scene from your hands and go in a direction you hadn’t expected?”
I already know the answer.
For me, one of the most exciting and yet, disconcerting components of writing is when one or more of my characters go rogue and change my careful, brilliantly plotted out scene. Seriously, you’d think they were real!
In a scene I’m writing for my WIP, I planned to have “Joe” withhold from my heroine’s mother his attraction to her daughter, “Mary,” since the mom doesn’t want Mary involved with a cop because of the danger. Joe keeps throwing out objections to various potential suitors for Mary.
The objections are lame and the mother realizes this. It dawned on me two pages into the scene that Mom isn’t stupid. If she knows the objections aren’t valid, why wouldn’t she figure out it was because Joe didn’t like the idea of Mary dating anyone else? Or, at the least, question Joe on his reasons.
So, the scene is evolving into another conflict because Mom warns Joe away from Mary. If Joe can’t stay away, his years-long friendship with Mom (who is his neighbor) is jeopardized. Cool. Whichever decision Joe makes will cause unhappiness to someone. Very cool.
This character rebellion has happened at least once in every book I’ve written. And this after I think I’ve done my due diligence and learned my characters’ GMCs, personalities, quirks, etc. The thing is, they are being their unique characters. Rather, when I put the words on the page, I realize they wouldn’t act/react the way I’ve written them.
So, here’s to characters that know what’s best for them.
Tell me your character rebellion stories. Come on, I know you have them.