Sometimes my characters surprise me. I’ve been editing my novel “Read Me Dead” lately. I thought I had everything set up with my characters until one day, last Wednesday actually. Even after changing my novel from third person to first person point of view, I thought I had everything situated. I knew which direction they would take and who would end up with whom, etc. I knew my main character, Alex, would push herself away from everyone she knew to keep them safe from the murderer that threatened her life. That was until one of my minor characters, Landon, forced himself into Alex’s life more than he was supposed to. Really, he was basically written out of the novel half-way through it before the re-write.
I know. I sound nuts. Like maybe my characters are actually real people. Maybe I am nuts, but these characters seem to have a mind of their own the more I continue to write with them. They decide what happens. I don’t know how they take over, but they do. I have every intention of writing one scene a certain way when it comes out a completely different way. They just show up when they want to. I can’t complain though. It has made the story more interesting with more conflicts and such, but it always amazes me how this happens.
This also brings to mind character-driven stories/novels. I always thought I focused more on the plot. Maybe I did before now, but this novel has changed that completely. I always thought that the story would be Alex running from a murderer, but in reality, it’s about her just being a teenager and dealing with what life has thrown at her. The story is her. It’s about her attitude towards life and love and about her craving normalcy. I never intended for this to happen, so I’m baffled that it has.
I think it was always meant to be this kind of book. I just didn’t know it until it happened, thanks to my characters.
Feel free to share any instances like this that have happened to you.