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!

Advertisements

Six hours of writing this Sunday! 

Since 2pm this afternoon, I have been writing my new novel DECEPTION. I was writing for 6/7 hours!

In this time, I was able to finish Chapter 28 and get started on Ch. 29.

Ch. 28 was an exhausting chapter to write – filled with twists, dark revelations and most of all, deep and emotional conversations for the two main characters involved.


Now, after today’s progress, I’m so close to completing the first draft of DECEPTION; I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m extremely excited to get this book finished and published for you all to finally read. It’s been well over a year now, since I started working on DECEPTION (formerly The Dog Walk) for my Creative Writing dissertation. I’m extremely hopeful about my fourth book, and I’m really looking forward to everyone experiencing this thrilling, creepy and dark journey.

Keep an eye out over the coming months for updates on DECEPTION – I’m aiming for it to be released in the Summer of 2016. A good read for your holidays!

New writing and new book ideas

I have officially started writing the next instalment of Endurance, ‘Endurance: Apocalypse’ (Endurance 2). For those of you who have read Endurance, it will be as gory, as action packed and I hope as unpredictable! I’m writing it when I can, hoping for it to be completed early(ish) 2014!

I also have a new mystery thriller book idea which I am developing at the moment. I could possibly begin writing it at the beginning of next year.
I do however have two other book ideas as well as the mystery thriller idea to pick from so we shall see what I decide to write. Who knows I may need to ask the opinion of you to help me decide.

So, very exciting prospects for the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, with my next book ‘The Author’ coming out hopefully within the next few weeks and possibly ‘Endurance: Apocalypse’ out at the beginning of next year, and then more writing with my 3 other book ideas for the rest of 2014 and maybe 2015!