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View Full Version : My characters have finally come to life...



Indy Tarquinson
06-26-2008, 07:54 PM
Is it just me, or does this happen to anyone else--I've been dealing with characters that were slightly cookie cutter and were sort of dead things that obeyed my every whim since the beginning of my story. Even my MC, who's been my favorite character of mine for ages.

Now, nearing the end of my story, they're suddenly alive. I'm writing and all of a sudden crazy stuff is happening, for example a fight came out nowhere between my two main MC guys. I guess they really wanted to have a go at each other for awhile now... I was planning to have them fight much, much later but I guess they couldn't wait. XD They're not exactly obeying my every whim anymore. O_o

I'm glad though because now they're well-rounded and I know what they want and what they'll do to get it. I'm kind of annoyed because it happened near the end, and not the beginning. Well, that's what revisions are for...

cletus
06-26-2008, 08:01 PM
Good for you Indy.

My charecters came alive once. Unfortunately, they all walked out the door and didn't come back.

Lady Cat
06-26-2008, 08:07 PM
I know just what you mean, I had the same thing happen to me. My main characters, especially the woman, were kind of cardboard until I got closer to the end and then she suddenly came to life.

It's not like the story doesn't start out with action, there's a lot of action at the beginning as well as the end. I guess maybe the problem is my female MC just kind of lets things happen. By the end she's got enough back bone that she's making things happen.

Back to the revisions. *sigh*

gypsyscarlett
06-26-2008, 09:33 PM
I love that feeling.

Before I start a certain work, I spend a huge amount of time doing character sketches. Trying to make them as three-dimensional as possible. I start writing. Then slowly, a character will just start changing on their own. Names, physical appearance, personality. I'll be writing and I look down and see instead of let's say: Margaret lit a cigarette - I'll have typed Vanessa lit a cigarette. Who the hell is Vanessa? Oh- do you want your name to be Vanessa?

Hmmm...no wonder we writers are called strange!

HeronW
06-26-2008, 09:51 PM
Now that they've come alive killing them takes longer :}

tehuti88
06-27-2008, 12:55 AM
Most of my characters are alive from the start, BUT, I think this is merely because I tend to develop characters before starting the story, and to think about (and even obsess over) them for quite a while prior to putting them down in words. So yes, I know the feeling, completely. :) They're always off doing weird things I never expected them to do, but which make sense when I think about it. Like they know themselves better than I know them (which is probably true).

I think it's a sign that you've succeeded. Though yes, there's the revision aspect... :D

melodychef
06-27-2008, 02:28 AM
Congrats, Indy.

I once wrote a story where a minor character got all my reader's attention. She was mouthy and colorful. I've tried to remember that for future character development. If my characters want to say something odd, I let them. It may turn them into something lovable.

Gynn
06-27-2008, 02:53 AM
Is it just me, or does this happen to anyone else--I've been dealing with characters that were slightly cookie cutter and were sort of dead things that obeyed my every whim since the beginning of my story. Even my MC, who's been my favorite character of mine for ages.

Now, nearing the end of my story, they're suddenly alive. I'm writing and all of a sudden crazy stuff is happening, for example a fight came out nowhere between my two main MC guys. I guess they really wanted to have a go at each other for awhile now... I was planning to have them fight much, much later but I guess they couldn't wait. XD They're not exactly obeying my every whim anymore. O_o

I'm glad though because now they're well-rounded and I know what they want and what they'll do to get it. I'm kind of annoyed because it happened near the end, and not the beginning. Well, that's what revisions are for...

That's my favorite thing about writing: watching my characters grow from a list of ideas into an actual person! It's fun to watch them change a scene from what I originally had planned.

BfloGal
06-27-2008, 06:13 AM
I spent a lot of time sketching out an original character. I plotter her personality, her background, her interests, her flaws, and gave her a name. But one rainy morning I woke up and found she was talking to me. I got up and quickly wrote her whole back story in her voice. The only thing now is that she won't shut up.

Faolmor
06-27-2008, 07:07 AM
My characters did that. Now they've taken over, they're making all the decisions, and pretty much rule my brain from the inside out.

I tried to enter into negotiations with them. But they're smarter than me. Damn them.

HourglassMemory
06-27-2008, 07:35 AM
Here's my own experience with that feeling.
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98304

Matera the Mad
06-27-2008, 08:16 AM
Now your characters will be watching over your shoulder and pestering you with suggestions while you revise. You can pester them right back with tons of highly personal questions.

Elodie-Caroline
06-27-2008, 11:42 AM
:roll:

My charecters came alive once. Unfortunately, they all walked out the door and didn't come back.


Indy, you know your characters feel real when they do as they like, instead of what they're told to do. I first got this when I tried to make one of my female characters say something. She put her hands on her hips and absolutely refused. She said it was the kind of thing that I would say, but not what she would. *Shrugs* I let her have her own way.


Elodie

KTC
06-27-2008, 02:38 PM
I can't judge whether they come alive to a reader or not... they are far too close to me to make that assumption, but my characters come to life for me before they make it to the page. They live in my head before they enter my stories. I pluck them from there fully realized and place them into story.

BfloGal
06-27-2008, 02:57 PM
:roll:



Indy, you know your characters feel real when they do as they like, instead of what they're told to do. I first got this when I tried to make one of my female characters say something. She put her hands on her hips and absolutely refused. She said it was the kind of thing that I would say, but not what she would. *Shrugs* I let her have her own way.


Elodie


Yes, and characters that take on their own life are murder on an outline. I've had everything planned 'perfectly' and then when one or more of the characters starts doing something surprising, it's back to the drawing board.

Elodie-Caroline
06-27-2008, 05:30 PM
I loved my girl when I first gave her life, she was one of life's victims and I felt sorry for her. But then I ended up not liking her very much, she became manipulative, so I made her hero a jealous man who gave her a few tears and doubts about his love. Now they are the perfect couple together. :)


Yes, and characters that take on their own life are murder on an outline. I've had everything planned 'perfectly' and then when one or more of the characters starts doing something surprising, it's back to the drawing board.

Quossum
06-27-2008, 06:36 PM
I love that feeling!

I'm one who has a general idea of what's to happen in a story, but then I just sit down and write, and inevitably those darn characters will start doing stuff that surprises me. I don't know where it comes from, but it usually works out. Even if it's a scene I have to cut later, it always teaches me something about the characters or the situation, makes them even more alive.

Good on ya' and keep it up!

--Q

Indy Tarquinson
06-28-2008, 12:03 AM
Thanks guys, it's really neat to hear all your stories about it too!

Unfortunately my main boy has now dug his heels in and wants an entirely new backstory! I don't know how much it'll change my story but it's definietly back to the drawing board for the first few chapters. I tried to resist but he didn't let me. Those little...grr...*shakes fist*

But I agree, it's a really cool feeling.