Characters do Surprise Authors



Today’s topic is so exciting. All authors have their own processes some need to have a detailed outline down to each scene that they never deviate from, others open a word document and begin writing allowing the story to unfold in real time as they put the words down. I land

somewhere in between. My process has evolved over the years because I learned that my characters surprise me all the time and when I have a detailed set-in stone outline it may hamper my ability to deepen my characters.


I have been halfway through a book and had a character reveal something about themselves that will create a huge ah-ha! Moment, but it also may have to change the story or the way my character reacts to the situation.


My stories are character driven to begin with, so it is such and such’s story, not “a story about some who has this happen to them”. Because of that, my plot even though I have big plot points outlined can evolve to what that character needs. I may thought have to waste a few chapters, to be cut later allowing the character to figure out why something isn’t working.


My current work in progress is a good example. My hero just would not work with me at all. I thought I was writing his story and was frustrated because he would just avoid doing the thing, I needed him to do in order to move the story forward. I stepped back and let it all just sit there and stew in my mind and then my hero finally explained that I had his fear all wrong and once I understood what he was afraid of, I was able to write the story he needed me to write.


Because my plots depend so much on the characters’ motivations and goals I try not to plot too

far ahead. I try to get act 1 set in place and maybe my ideas about the turning points in act 2, that way if I get to the end of act 1 and my hero or heroine is not the person, I thought them to be, I don’t have to rethink the entire book.


I tend to live with my characters for a long in my head and get to know them, but like everyone we know they harbor some secrets that are bound to come out if you push them enough. That is what I love so much about writing. In my heart I am a reader, so I am reading the story as I write it and often, I am as surprised as al the other readers at what is going on the page as I type it. There is no better feeling than to be surprised.


It means that my character is trusting me and therefore the story will have more depth.


Next, we have Brenda Margriet https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog


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