Sunday, April 6, 2014

When book characters have minds of their own

I put in a full afternoon on my book yesterday, but before I began to write from where I had left off, I decided to read over some of what I had written the week before.  I came to a certain point in the book when the stubborn attitude of one of the characters and what he said to Jorja made me laugh.  It struck me when I thought about the fact that this has happened before…when I’ve read over something I’ve written and when the words seem to be coming from someone else.  After that thought, I decided to post this on my Facebook page:

Sometimes, my characters just crack me up! I'm having a lot of fun with Jorja, Fritz and Brad today. It's very strange and not something I can easily put into words, but my characters do have minds of their own. It's very clear to me when I review the words I'm fully aware I wrote when it comes to what my characters do and say but which later surprise me, might even irritate me and oftentimes makes me laugh. It truly is a great feeling when characters lead a life of their own through your fingertips!

I still really can’t put this concept into words other than to say the characters do tend to have minds of their own.  I might think I know what’s going to happen in the story, but funny enough, the characters end up having their own ideas.

Case in point is the issue with Jorja, Brad and Fritz.  Jorja and Brad had a high school romance so they have some history and are now good friends; although it would seem Brad might prefer to have more to the relationship.  Fritz, on the other hand, is someone Jorja hasn’t known long but there is the idea that the two of them could possibly become a couple, if it weren’t for the fact that they tend to squabble about the type of work she deals with as a defense investigator. 

If Jorja were to finally get past her fears and actually form a romantic relationship with either man, who would be the best fit?  Both Brad and Fritz are good looking, they both have good jobs and they both have their good traits and bad traits.  The books aren’t written around whether Jorja will end up in a relationship or not; it’s just a possibility that’s always been there. 

At the very beginning, when I first began this series, I thought I had an idea of what might happen but it was just a thought…  I’m not writing a romance series but I do enjoy flirting with the idea of what romance might be like for Jorja, if she were to open herself up to the idea. 

While I am the creator of my characters, I don’t always get to tell them what to do.  And the characters don’t always let me know what the plan might be.  That fact became clear again to me yesterday when I was finally clued in to what one of the characters was up to.  It wasn’t what I was expecting but…I liked the idea so I went with it.

It might be odd to hear that the characters lead lives of their own through my fingertips, or that they have minds of their own.  Sometimes I even tend to forget this fact, but it isn’t long before the characters remind me about the truth in that statement.  What’s great about this whole concept?  It means that I can continue to claim my role as the creative artist but I also get to look forward to a few surprises here and there.  It’s what makes being a writer so much fun!

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