Friday, March 5, 2010

Living Characters

I've written on this subject before and I'm sure it won't be the last words I say about this topic, but ultimately I'm having trouble reigning in my character.

Meet "Girl X" The love interest of my MC for my current novel tentatively called "Watchers" aka "The Awakening."

(for the record, she doesn't look like this, but I liked the expression for image sake)

Girl X, was supposed to be someone completely different than she is now. She is supposed to be nigh untouchable. She is supposed to be pristine, glass-like in her fragility, equally submissive in attitude and ultimately come across as weak. What she really is, is irrelevant. The problem I'm having is, her personality is shaping out differently. Is it detrimental to the plot, not so much, but does it bother me that I can't seem to fit my character's complex into the character... YES.

I had a similar problem with a character in Trueborn. The MC and his brother were swapping personalities and making choices that I had intended for the other to make. It feels like I'm trying to write a story about living characters who don't want to be written different than they really are. It's like they are rebelling against my finger strokes and key clicks. It's like they are developing themselves.

What is your experience with character development before and during the novel writing process?


Noelle Nolan said...

I am right there with you. When I first starting working on my MC I had it all worked out. All the notes, scenes, and dialogue that my character had seem to vanish once the story was starting to develop on the screen. For me however, it was for the best. As she transformed into this reborn character, she fits much better into the story.

I wish you luck with you characters. They can sometimes be a major pain.

David J. West said...

For me its a question of putting myself into their shoes and feeling what they feel, because no ne thinks of themselves as a sidecharacter.

So by seeing everything fron characters individual viewpoints I can better see motivation and individual voice.

I often hear about merging characters-I never do-just because I rty hard to make everyone an individual in the first place-but if perhaps two characters are seeming too similar maybe you should consider merging.