Writers are ‘losing control’ over their characters. But is this really possible?

I tweeted about a problem writers are facing. A seemingly ruthless and universal issue that shows no mercy. The problem? Misbehaving and disobedient fictitious characters.

What is losing control over your character?

Many writers talk about occasions when their character does something that they (the writer) simply didn’t expect or allow.

Maybe their character absolutely loves eating apples, but no matter what, the author just can’t stop their character from eating goddamn bananas.

I don’t know about you but this process of a character changing or doing something against your will is completely ludicrous. There is simply no way that a fictional character can dictate their own actions against you, the author, their god.

Fictional characters DO become real beings though… in your head and on paper

Sure, fictional characters become real, living, breathing, walking, talking beings in our heads, in our words and in our stories. They, however, cannot make a single decision without you. For a start, they’re a floating individual or group in your head. They don’t have their own mind, like a real person. Only in their fictional world.

As a writer, you are the character. You make their decisions and you control their behaviour. So if there is any behavioural change to your character, then that’s down to you as the writer and god of your fictional universe, not the character.

It’s character personality development rather than character defiance

It happens in a story. A character’s personality, behaviour and mannerisms can change, just like a real life person’s personality changes over time. Personality change is the result from life experience. This is something that happens in the real world and fictional universe.

Imagine yourself ten years ago, think about where you were in your life and how it affected you. Were you a different person? If so, why? Maybe you weren’t as confident as you are now. Maybe you say certain phrases that you would never say now. Maybe you now like a certain food that you never liked before. It could be any kind of behavioural change, but it all dwindles down to life experience.

It’s more impressive when writers ensure their character’s personality developments from their experiences. Whether the experience is part of their backstory or are the effects of the narrative we’re following.

Why do writers say their character is defying them and doing what they want?

It’s for effect. It makes it seem to others that they’re so wrapped up in their creative world that they’re part of the universe. Or that their character has escaped their fictional world and joined them in the real world – sounds like the bloody Matrix films now.

Simply put, writers have an overactive imagination. It’s what helps us to come up with the stories we come up with.

I have all sorts of random thoughts in my day-to-day life, creating various scenarios in my head.

Picture this: I walk in the front door after work. It’s dark upstairs. “I bet there’s a axe wielding maniac up there hiding in my wardrobe,” I think to myself. I walk up the stairs anyway without turning the lights on.

My Conclusion

I’ve said it already, but writers are gods of their fictional worlds. They’re in control of every single aspect of their world, including the development of a story and their characters. If a character swears, the writer allowed them to. If they order a pint, it’s because the author wanted them to. If they end up killing someone, it’s cause the writer allowed it.

You may not always agree with your character or condone what they do, say or think, but you created them. It’s because of you that they act a certain way or have a belief in your fictional world.

Sorry fellow writers who say their characters are going rogue, in my opinion, it’s simply not the case. It’s part of your imagination and you like the thought that your character is a real person who makes their own decisions. To some extent they do make their own decisions, but it’s down to you what decisions they make, whether it’s the right or wrong decision. But that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Living a different life and doing things that we can’t always do in our normal lives.

We can live a different life through our characters.

Get in touch if you are a firm believer in lacking control of your characters

If you’ve ever experienced losing the control of your character and they do what ever the hell they want, get in touch. Tell us what happened!

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A successful morning writing session… in my pjs!

My New Year’s Eve morning was spent working on my latest novel.

You can’t beat a morning writing session, especially when you’re slumming it in your pyjamas with a Groot mug.

Now that I’m 3900 words in across three chapters, it’s time to hand over the story to my harshest critic, the other half.

T. J. Blake's morning writing session in his pjs

The Verdict

Luckily, she liked what she read. A couple of good points for me to consider too, but on the whole, she really enjoyed it.

You may think she’s biased. Trust me, she isn’t, she’ll tell me if something is complete rubbish or not!

Are you a fellow writer who writes in their pjs?

Feel free to send a snap and let me know where you are at with your latest novel!

Planning a Novel – I’m trying out something new!

The development of my previous five books all followed a similar format – first came the initial idea, then the fabrication of the world and the characters within it, and then a basic outline of the story’s journey. This usually took the form of my thoughts combined with the plot outline on my iPhone notes; which seems ridiculous looking back!

With a new book currently in development, I wanted to try something a little different in preparing myself to write it.

Time and patience is the key to writing an effective novel. The initial planning and development of a story is more important than the writing itself.

My novel latest novel, DECEPTION: A Love of Lies, relied heavily on the characterisation and plot of the story. This is what drove the story. The initial idea was very different to how DECEPTION is now, but the time spent on researching and developing the plot is what made it the big hit it is today.

So, how am I changing my novel planning process?

I’m still embracing my mental plotting, but I’m taking the approach of jotting it down on paper, which is why I’ve got my own book planning notebook now!

Novel Planning Notebook T. J. Blake

As dull as the image is above, this little notebook of mine has book titles, plots, quotes, character profiles and backstories inside it. I’ve separated the various elements of the novel up. The notebook currently contains a book title page, character profile page, character background page, key events page, quotes page, writing inspo page and genre theme page.

With the divided pages, I’m able to jot down my ideas in basic note form. All the ideas I note down aren’t guaranteed to feature in the book when I come to write it, but it allows me to plaster my ideas and let me review it over time when the time arrives for me to start writing and put the plot together.

My character profile and background pages were looking very full to begin with, mostly because the protagonist in this novel was the key to the story; it all started with her (there’s an exclusive for you all!).

What’s your planning process?

I’d love to know what your novel planning process is. If you’ve tried many ways to plan your books and have both terrible and great experiences, I’d love to hear them!

New Year’s Eve – What’s to come in 2018? The next Endurance & a new Alive eBook cover

Endurance front cover

It’s New Year’s Eve. Do you want to know what I’m doing right now? I’m writing. Finally!

I’m not afraid to admit, I am quite disappointed in myself, mostly because I didn’t nearly spend enough time writing for the year of 2017. I’ve been writing more than ever, but not in terms of writing creatively for my books.

Having changed jobs and started a writing business, my time has been taken up by these two things. I guess that just happens, life gets in the way. Even so, it’s still disappointing!

Something I have found though from my 3 hour writing spree is that I haven’t lost the passion or enjoyment whilst working on the final book of The Endurance Series.

I’ve been working on Endurance 3 since I finished my last book, Deception, back in 2016. And here we are in 2017, on the brink of 2018, still a lot of work to do before the last instalment is released – it’s worth the wait though!

Endurance is coming to an end… or is it?

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 15.13.01

The plot and story of the final chapter in the series, Endurance: Recovery, is all planned out. All that is left to do is to write it.

Only 12,500 words into the book so far, and a lot has happened already!

If you enjoyed the fast pace, action and gore in the first two books, then you’re going to love this one too!

I won’t go into too much detail about the characters in this one because there’s potential for spoilers. So we’ll just say this – if you’re hungry for more kick-ass fighting, blood and infected maniacs, keep an eye out for the release of Endurance: Recovery.

It’s the last instalment of The Endurance Series, or is it? You’ll have to wait to find out!

Endurance: Recovery, coming 2018!

New eBook cover for dark fantasy short story, Alive

Back in 2016 I released a short eBook dark fantasy short story called Alive. This is the synopsis:

For nearly a year now I have been living a lie. My husband and two daughters believe that I am dead. No one can know our secret.

2018 will see a new front cover for the dark and chilling short story!

The planning of more stories

I’ve got a catalogue of book ideas to choose from, but I am always looking for new ideas to entertain you all.

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all have a great night tonight seeing in 2018.

I’ll see you on the other side!

My New Content Writing Business – TJ Creative

I'm very happy to announce that I have started my own business; a writing company in Surrey, UK, called TJ Creative – The Write Solution.

I started TJ Creative with the aim of becoming the local solution for individuals and businesses across Surrey and Hampshire looking for website content, SEO copywriting and social media support

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be a big part of anyone's online marketing, and digital content plays an integral role in the process of SEO. 

Although my business is new, I hold the experience and knowledge to help you. I have spent many years writing creatively in my degree and as an author, and professionally as an SEO copywriter with a leading digital marketing company in Hampshire. 

To find out more about my content writing services in Haslemere, Surrey, continue to my new website and read up on my services. 

Also, if you have a spare couple of minutes, please follow TJ Creative on Twitter – https://twitter.com/tjcreativeuk (@tjcreativeuk) and like the page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TJCreativeUK/  

New Content Writing Business

It’s been a hectic few weeks recently. Work has been pretty busy, I’ve had a busy personal schedule and I’ve been trying to create a brand for my new writing business (which is quite exciting). 

After coming up with my new branding, I started the work on building my website. Having completed many of the site’s pages, it’s very nearly complete and will be live within the next few weeks. 

What will be available through my new website? 

Through my new content writing service, I will be offering content writing, copywriting, creative writing and social media services. 

I won’t go into much more detail now as I’ll wait for the big reveal! 

Should you have a business and you want to improve its online presence or you’re working on your next creative project, then my new writing service is an option for you! 

I’ll launch the website very soon, but should you need a writing service now, then feel free to get in contact with me on my contact page. 

My new site isn’t live, but it’s never too soon for us to start working together! 

Get ‘Deception: A Love of Lies’ from Waterstones or WHSmith

This may be old news to some of you because I posted this on my social media, but my latest psychological thriller,  Deception: A Love of Lies, is available to purchase from Waterstones and WHSmith. 

It’s a great achievement, mostly because my previous books did not make it onto WHSmith, but Deception has! 

It’s currently out of stock on WHSmith, but it’s available elsewhere in paperback and eBook. 

Deception T. J. Blake WHSmith
It’s great that it’s listed on WHSmith, and I am trying to speak to the distributor to see if we can get a description added into the book’s product page, as well as get it stocked in stores.

I’ll also admit, it’s quite pricey in WHSmith. However, on Waterstones, it’s available for a cool £7.50. 

Deception T. J. Blake Waterstones
Deception: A Love of Lies – worth the read? 

If you’re wondering whether Deception is worth reading, then you should see the incredible ratings it’s received on Goodreads from readers across the world. 

I love this book – it’s easily my favourite out of my books, and it’s all because of the main character, Billy. I know I’m slightly biased, but I’m confident that if you enjoy a psychological thriller with intricate characters and detailed characterisation, then you’ll enjoy Deception!

Deception A Love of Lies Goodreads
Grab a copy of Deception today by heading over to Waterstones, Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and see what others are saying about Deception on Goodreads

Be careful when looking at reviews, there’s potential for spoilers! 

Interested in writing? Read my latest article, which is a comparative analysis utilising Mind Style to analyse Nick and Amy Dunne from the bestselling novel, Gone Girl.

This comparative analysis will closely examine the two key characters from Gone Girl, Nick and Amy Dunne. The narratological term ‘mind style’, will be employed as the main tool of analysis for this article.

This comparative analysis will closely examine the two key characters from Gone Girl, Nick and Amy Dunne. The narratological term ‘mind style’, will be employed as the main tool of analysis for this article.

I decided to focus on mind style because I feel that it is an effective tool which, in my opinion, is overlooked. Mind style allows an author to demonstrate rather than state information to a reader – providing deeper traits of a character to be presented via linguistic choices and mental processes.

Mind style is a wonderful concept in my opinion. It’s a great tool to review characters in a story, and can support writers in forming a realistic character.

Learn about mind style today by reading my comparative analysis of Gone Girl.

Source: A Comparative Analysis of the Mind Styles created for the fictional characters Nick and Amy Dunne in the bestselling novel, Gone Girl.

Mind Style Gone Girl Analysis

A Post is Coming! 

Hi everyone! 

I know it’s been a while since I posted – just under a month ago – but there is something coming for you. 

Tomorrow, I will be posting a new article for my blog. It’s an interesting one – it’s a comparative analysis using the narratological theory of mind style. 

I will be explaining mind style for those of you who aren’t aware of the concept, as well as use it to review a very well known and successful book. 

Keep an eye out tomorrow; it may be beneficial to you, especially if you’re an avid writer! 

Deception: A Love of Lies Reviewed!

Sorry it’s been a while again folks, I’ve had quite a busy New Year so far with life and work – but I’m very happy to see Deception continuing to entertain people.

When people read Deception, one key element particularly stands out to them: Characterisation. It’s a theme in this book that is the key to Deception‘s appeal. With an intriguing main character (Billy Allen) and a beautiful, peaceful setting of Lavingsham, this unique story allows us to become part of Billy’s life. 

The paragraph below taken from my reader’s review sums up the book, and will ultimately tell you if my psychological thriller is a book for you. 

It is a compelling read, drawing you into Billy’s house. T. J. Blake knows how to keep you glued to the story, in dire need of finding out who/what Billy really is. Billy and Eve are quite complex, despite the mixed emotions I had about them. The story comprises authentic characters, interesting turns, and has a good flow.

Read the full review nowhttps://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/deception-a-love-of-lies-by-t-j-blake/

Deception Psychological Thriller T. J. Blake