When most of us start out as writers, part of the appeal is the ability to play God with our characters. You will do this because I said so! For those of us who began as children, there is, no doubt, a component of defiance because we really hated hearing that from our parents and wanted to control someone else. But something that becomes readily apparent (at least with every writer I know), is that characters have minds and personalities of their own (if they don’t, they often fall totally flat on paper) and they DON’T always do what we want them to just because we said so. This is one of the reasons I never write about people I know. Because then I lose even that modicum of control I possess as an author.
To non-writers this probably sounds a little schizophrenic, but hey, writers are my readers here, so y’all get it, right?
Something else I am starting to learn as a writer is to NEVER SAY NEVER. Because you just might have to eat those words. The simple fact is, you just don’t know who will pop up and demand that you tell their story.
Take my Mirus series for example. I was CONVINCED I was done writing about Gage and Embry from Forsaken By Shadow. Well, maybe not. I didn’t think I’d be able to use Orrin and Dahlia’s story and yet, here I find myself with Riven. I never thought I’d wind up writing about Matthias in more than secondary role, yet he decided to show up in the shower yesterday (not THAT way…God…get your mind out of the gutter! He stayed outside the shower curtain) to tell me about his agenda. Well, let me tell you that was a surprise. I still don’t know if he’ll wind up being hero material, but he’s definitely going to play a bigger role than I expected.
It’s a continually astonishing thing to me how random little lines or details that I throw in a book just for the heck of it, turn out to mean something really significant down the line in a way I never anticipated. It’s one of the really cool and amazing things about the creative brain–how it’s continually working on things even then it’s not actively focusing on those things. I’ve come to cherish those Ah ha! moments when all suddenly becomes clear.
Do you have these moments as a writer? What have you said you’d never do only to have to eat your words?