The Character and Me

I often develop relationships with my characters when I’m writing a novel. It’s not surprising for them to be with me at a movie. Sometimes, as I respond to something, I always think about how they would respond, as an exercise to better understand them.

This arrangement leads the characters to be vocal about what’s going on. When I struggle through a scene, it’s not surprising to discover that the character is doing something that they believe is contrary to what the would do. It’s an odd, true north alignment. I created, or discovered them; I believe I know them best. Yet, they will reject a path that they feel is wrong for them. Their rejection is displayed through a work slowdown.

That’s not what transpired this week. I was writing, and going along fine. Yet, several things that the character did or said bothered me. The writing didn’t suffer. It flowed with no problem or stoppages.

I considered this today while I was walking. Although I was surprised, and I shouldn’t be, the character explained why he wasn’t bothered by what was happening. His explanation opened an entire rue of thinking about the situation. I’d been thinking about that situation in terms of plot, story arc, and activity. The character has been reacting to how it affected him. 

I was pretty astonished and pleased. His explanation to me opened a new paragraph and facets of him and the situation that I’d overlooked. It’s exciting and stimulating.

Here we go. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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