Now that the maniacal laughter has subsided... I thought we could discuss free will and our characters' abilities to act on their own. Because I believe that by providing our characters specific personalities governed by specific laws and by allowing them to reside in our subconscious minds, we hand them that proverbial apple.
For non-writers, it's hard to grasp the idea that characters have the ability to act on their own. We've all heard a writer say something along the lines of, "And then Sally decided she wasn't going to break up with Tom, and I had to rethink my entire ending," only to hear non-writers respond with something like, "Sally's not real. You control her. Just write her breaking up with him."
If we embrace reality long enough to be honest with ourselves, the reason behind this behavior can be boiled down to one sentence: the author didn't have a firm grasp of the character when planning that scene/plot point and discovered at the last minute that it was no longer in-character.
If we're avoiding reality, the reason is equally simple: our characters lash out against us for complicating their lives (no matter how well we have it work out in the end) and do things to intentionally mess up our master plans.
Aryli and her Anjidian companions most certainly fall into that latter category, reality or no.
Throughout the course of the novel, various characters have:
- stormed out of rooms when I wanted them to stay and have a conversation;
- gone to one locale when I wanted them to go to another;
- revealed things I didn't want revealed;
- betray characters I didn't intend for them to betray; and
- killed characters I didn't intend for them to kill.
What have your characters done that messed up your game plan? Or improved it?