Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5 Unexpected Things Characters Do to the Author

1. They lie. Despite what readers might think, I do not know everything there is to know about a character. That means they sometimes have secrets I don’t know about, secrets they are willing to lie about to protect. After all, I am an author. They tell me, and it’ll probably end up on the page for the world to see.

2. They insist on their own way. For some odd reason, the characters believe they know the outcome better than I do. Never mind that they haven’t seen the story’s end yet.

3. They don’t listen. Like in #2, they claim to know more than me. So I can tell them Route A is better, but they will take Route B (sometimes just because I said Route A, I think). However, to my amusement, they often circle back to my way sooner or later in the story.

4. They interrupt. I can be engaged in a serious conversation with a real person, and they’ll poke their head through the backdoor of my mind to toss out some unrelated comment or oddball observation. So if I start to laugh for no apparent reason, now you know why.

5. They act like real people. Yes, that’s shocking, I know. But they quarrel and throw tantrums, tease and pout, tickle my funny bone and surprise me with their insights into life. It is one of the greatest frustrations and the best joys of being a novelist.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

It is crazy how they can act like real people and surprise us. I never understood this until a few years into my writing journey.