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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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!

Books by T. J. Blake and what’s to come 

My writing journey began with my debut release, Endurance (2013), a gory dystopian horror-thriller novel.


After my fast paced debut came my suspenseful mystery thriller, The Author (2014), which was closely followed by the second gory book of The Endurance Series, Endurance: Apocalypse (2014).


I then took a year gap whilst I finished my last year at university. But as soon as I fnished, I was back and I decided to release a tense dark fantasy short story, Alive (2016).

After Alive, I released my latest novel, Deception: A Love of Lies (2016) – this book has received wonderful reviews from readers across the globe!


I’m always working on new book ideas, my latest includes a brand new horror!

My next book to be released is the last instalment of The Endurance Series – which is currently due for release later this year.

To find out more about my books and what’s to come, take a look at Books by T. J. Blake.

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! 

My dark fantasy short story ‘Alive’ free for the last day! 

My dark fantasy short story ‘Alive’ is currently available to download from Amazon.com & UK for free, but for only today – which means you can start reading it within seconds! 

Is it worth the read? Of course! ‘Alive’ has just recently received a 5 star review! 


Download ‘Alive’ now – https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01GZ86SU6/

Three years of self-publishing as T. J. Blake

I love nothing more than getting lost in my own imaginary world, surrounded by people who I do not know but care about tremendously; and then left to observe this universe, and tell you what is happening.

March 2016 marked three years into my indie author career, and the 23rd of August marked three years since I was featured in The Surrey Advertiser, with my debut novel, Endurance.


My time of self-publishing horror and thriller novels has been a real blast; I simply cannot complain about my experience with self-publishing what so ever. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing numerous stories for people to read, I’ve loved hearing what people think of my stories, I’ve been both stunned and thrilled about seeing sales across the world, and I’m excited for what’s to come.

I thrive on entertaining people and I love nothing more than getting lost in my own imaginary world, surrounded by people who I do not know but care about tremendously; and then left to observe this universe, and tell you what is happening.

My love for writing will never change, so there is a lot more to come from me – I hope you don’t mind?

Latest
Late July, early August of 2016, I decided to self-publish my fourth novel, Deception: A Love of Lies

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It’s my latest psychological thriller, based on an obsessive dog walker called Billy. He loves nothing more than to observe ‘his’ woodlands with his springer spaniel, Ella. But during these ventures into his woodlands, he notices an attractive lady from afar. Check out the synopsis of Deception below, and feel free to order it on Amazon now – you can begin reading in seconds on Kindle & eBook – getBook.at/DeceptionTJBlake

Deception Synopsis
“Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes; they remind me of a blue sky right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.
She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and forty-two seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.”

I guarantee that once you read my new thriller, you will not be able to look at passing dog walkers the same!

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You can also find out more about Deception and myself by reading the latest press release on SBWire – UK Author T. J. Blake Releases New Psychological Thriller, Deception: A Love of Lies

BizPR.co.uk – ‘Deception: A Love of Lies’ Press Release

As you must know by now, my fourth novel, Deception: A Love of Lies is now available to buy from Amazon, B&N, Waterstones Marketplace and many other online bookstores.

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You can find out much more about Deception by reading the press release on BizPR.co.uk.

BizPR.co.uk – UK Author T. J. Blake Releases New Psychological Thriller, Deception: A Love of Lies

“Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes; they remind me of a blue sky right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.

She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and forty-two seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.”

Read Deception: A Love of Lies on Kindle/eBook now!

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Catching up with T. J. Blake – latest articles and creative pieces

Sorry that I’ve been a neglectful blogger recently, but I’ve had a busy few weeks. After bagging myself a new job (which I start on Monday – woop!), I’ve been finishing up with my then current (now former) employer, editing my next thriller DECEPTION, and of course, been preparing for Monday.

Anyway, to the point of this speedy post, I thought I would just give you the titles and links to my latest articles and creative pieces; which I’ve added to my blog T. J. Blake #Author the past few months.

So, below are my latest blog posts, articles and general writing material.

About me

Why did I choose to self-publish?

Articles

How has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?

Overuse of the exclamation mark: You’re having a laugh!!!! A little strict?!!

Creative Writing

Flash Fiction

Poem Attempts

Short Story Nightmare

Illusory Waters

 

Please have a read of my latest material. Feel free to comment with your opinion, and please do share 🙂

‘DECEPTION – a love of lies’ synopsis

DECEPTION synopsis revealed – Please take a moment to read the DECEPTION synopsis, and feel free to let T. J. Blake know what you think by continuing to his blog ‘T. J. Blake # Author’.

Happy Easter weekend everyone!

I had some aims for this Bank Holiday weekend, and it’s fair to say I have most definitely achieved a lot of them (thankfully!). Below is my ever so strict check-list.

Easter Bank Holiday weekend check-list

  • Complete first draft of DECEPTION – CHECK
  • Complete synopsis of DECEPTION – CHECK
  • Complete first edit of DECEPTION – I’m working on it!

As I said on my Twitter and Facebook pages earlier today, I will be revealing the synopsis for my next novel DECEPTION – a love of lies in a moment… actually, now!

DECEPTION has been in the works for well over a year now, and I’m very happy to allow you all the opportunity to read the official synopsis for my new thriller novel. Please take a moment to read the DECEPTION synopsis, and feel free to let me know what you think. I hope you like it!

DECEPTION – a love of lies (synopsis)

“Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes that remind me of a blue sky, right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.
She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and forty-two seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.”

DECEPTION, coming in the summer of 2016!

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