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Out of My Control

I swear, my characters decide the way my books are written, not me. My characters take on aspects of personality that I don't intend, they irritate me and make me laugh, they insist upon certain occurances... and it all seems out of my hands. Not joking, I plot and plan my writing. I make story arcs. I write out scenes-- and then those scenes never happen. Why? Well, because somehow, as I'm writing, things just kind of unfold and develop out of my control. I read a quote of an author, a long time ago, saying exactly that-- that their characters write the books, not them. I laughed at the time, thinking it a joke, not understanding how characters - created from ink on paper - could have the ability to create content for themselves!? But now I understand. I understand that, just as layers of personality, passion, and complexity are revealed as you get to know a friend, the same holds true for getting to know and develop a character. I may decide an action that a character is going to take to further along the plot of the book but the reasoning of why... well that seems up to them. For instance, a friend of yours never wears red... that's just the way they are, way they've been the whole time you've known them, but maybe months or years into your relationship you find out it's because they used to be bullied in school by a kid who always wore red. So they associate red clothing negatively. On one hand, that detail of 'why' isn't important. It doesn't make you like your friend any more or less. But! What it does do is make you understand them more, know them better, and it flushes out a part of their personality that you may not of considered before. That's what I try to do with my characters... or more like, what my characters do with me and my writing! The Queen may banish her most loyal subject to a barren land of ice and snow... but why? Well, that's for her to tell me. For me to write down. And for you to find out.

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