Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Taking Over



More flower things from the garden.

It's funny how characters really can start to take on a life of their own. I'd heard of this, and sort of experienced it a little, but the last few days it's been happening a lot more. Interestingly, it's very rarely the main characters that it happens to with me. Those I plan out in meticulous detail, think about, really get to know. But with minor characters, I tend to rely more on inventing appropriate things and being consistent afterwards. It means that sometimes they can go off in all sorts of fun directions, but I don't lose sight of who my real main character is. The really odd bit comes with characters who just... show up. Maybe I have a scene that needs a minor character, barely more than an extra, and on some whim I put in some tiny detail. Maybe I then realise, 'hey, I could use this character later on to do this other thing'. Even stranger is when, strictly speaking, a scene doesn't need another character, but it just seems a bit empty without one. I create one in a couple of lines, and suddenly they're demanding extra space, worming their way into the subplots or something. I'd like to think it shows my desire for an economy of effort, not wasting characters, or that it perhaps shows that even the most minor of my characters has something to them. I'd like to, but I'm not sure it's true. Instead, I have a horrible feeling that I'm letting my characters boss me about. I know exactly how silly that sounds. I would have said 'they're your characters, they only do what you write' only a little while ago, but it really does feel like that sometimes.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

Ha! I can totally relate, and I love the feeling of being led around by my characters! I say, since I'm in an unfettered mood, just go with it!

stu said...

It's fine, right up to the point where they start disagreeing with the script.

Heather said...

Don't let them give you any sass!!!

stu said...

Yes, but you've got to be careful with these things. Look at what happened with the writer's strike. The last thing I need is to get to the next chapter and find that it's being picketed.