Oh Those Characters!

James has a lot of issues. He's now obsessed with a cabin that he'd tried to forget. He has a mom that he wants to kill. He has a childhood he wants to erase. At first, I was ticked off when I had to rewrite the facts to match what James decided to say and do, something different than I had planned. 

I looked over my outline for my short story, Ebb and Flow, and discovered that James was not following the script. I am the boss in this situation, right? 

Then I had to laugh. Poor damaged James is manipulating me. 

Oh the characters in my head that I put on paper. I wish they'd listen to me... or do I?

If you're a writer does this ever happened to you?  If you're a reader, do you ever wish a story had gone in different direction?



  1. Usually when it takes me in a different direction it makes the story better.

  2. I am predominantly a reader rather than a writer. When I do write the characters often call the shots - and for me at least, Alex is right.
    A character which insists on a particular direction is usually a better formed character. Not always more likeable, but definitely better drawn...

  3. Yep. Characters take things how they want to go, not how we first envisioned.

  4. There are stories I've read where I wish the character had done differently but I realize if they had, I probably wouldn't have paid as much attention to them as I did. Sounds like James will take you in a fascinating direction.

  5. Hi Teresa - I rarely do stories ... so they just end up being written. But I gather characters do take over and can believe it ... our imaginations are such strong holds over our little grey cells. I'm glad James is leading you on ... take care - Hilary

  6. Well, you can resume power when you realize that you gave James the power to manipulate you. :) Although, you still had to do the rework. When reading about how authors set up a book, it always amazes me how they dedicate so much time bringing their character to life before they even start the book.

  7. I often wonder if I'm ever in charge or if I'm simply the recording device! :)


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