Saturday, March 19, 2011

Uninvited Characters

I was minding my own business, writing along, when a character I didn’t invite into my novel showed up. He just started talking and I knew that he had something interesting to say. Did I let him stay? YEP.

Here’s what I think about early drafts and sometimes even later drafts; if a strong character appears, I should hear him out, try to see how he might fit into the story, what he can add. I think these characters don’t really appear out of nowhere. If you’re connected to your manuscript and you’re in the story, they show up out of a need.

And sometimes they’re some of the most interesting characters you write.

4 comments:

Lisa Gail Green said...

I agree!! And even the characters I know about sometimes surprise me. But I have to listen because I can't force them to do something contrary to their character.

brian yansky said...

So true--once you start forcing them it's easy to make them do things out of character or lose what their character is.

Girl Friday said...

Once a character showed up out of nowhere and I liked her so much she ended up being my co-main character :)

brian yansky said...

Girl Friday--so there you go. We can't be closing the doors to new characters just because they don't call in advance.