1. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Can it be possible for a character to take over your story?O_o

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Eurlo, Apr 29, 2011.

    I think one of mine is.....It is going off track and I feel like he took over and has steered me off track:(

    I'm very confused about what is going on right now, I don't like where it is heading at all. I am a confused mess, I don't have a clue what to do!

    I will try and make a new file for this part and continue to write see if I like where it goes if not I'm pushing it to the side and taking back control of my story!

    Does anyone else have this problem? If so how did you react? And how did you fix it?
     
  2. Ophiucha
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    Ophiucha Member

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    Some people seem to think so.

    Likely, you are thinking faster than you can type. You are thinking, in the back of your mind, about possible ways the story can go, and because you are likely writing an early draft, without as heavily a cemented idea of where things are going, you are just 'going with the flow' subconsciously, even if you have a loose idea consciously. Or you can say a figment of your imagination took the reigns. Whichever you prefer.
     
  3. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    yeah....

    Yeah its a early draft alright.:p
     
  4. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    Agreed. I planned my novel heavily and therefore none of my characters have ever taken control. I don't allow them to.

    But if what comes out for you is good, then more power to you. I just don't like being in that situation myself.
     
  5. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I have been in this situation in my story once before. It has probably been worse than yours has. Critics did not believe in the plot of my story that the events in the story would not happen in reality. I was confused as well. However, I have decided to go to bed and wake up the next week on my story, not reading it for a while. Then I came back and found myself rewriting the entire story from scratch, using the same ideas of the original story.

    Nevertheless, I do not think I have ever had a character who took over my story. In contrast, I had excess characters who were not important in the story, so I removed them as the story gotten better, especially that I rewritten the story alone. It is almost as if someone else wrote the story when I rewrote it. I do not advise you to rewrite the entire story from scratch though. However, if you feel that your character is trying to or successfully is controling your story and the problem persists, it would be better to lay the book down for a few days (or even a few weeks if you have the patience to do so). That is only if you absolutely have no clue on regaining control of your story. It has worked for me, and I felt as if my eyes were renewed.

    From my experience, the excess characters in my story were in the way as if there were too many members of my family in my bedroom. Some needed to leave the room. While you are working on a project in your bedroom with the help of your family members, the extra members who do not belong in your room would probably get on your nerves until you ask them to leave. Thus, the extra characters in my book needed to leave my story. Therefore, I asked those characters to leave by removing them, so that the book would find it easier to finish working on its project.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no!... not unless you're a character in a hollywood movie, or you've suffered a serious mental disconnect...

    you are the writer... you write who does what... thus, only you are in control of what takes place...
     
  7. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I've had this happen several times. Once I recognize it, I like to have fun with it. I look for the moment in the story that the character(s) took over and put all that into a computer for later. Then, I let the character tell the story to the end. When they're done, I take notes of what I like about their version. Finally, I take the notes and get back to the story.

    Many times, the character(s) can bring up interesting plot strategies or twists or ideas. Don't let them tell the final story, however, because they tend to follow tangents very easily.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Every character is a creation of your own mind, with no independent volition. A character can do nothing unless you write it that way.
     
  9. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    I agree with Cogito, only one other thing, I understand what you mean by "your character is taking over", they aren't taking over themselves, it is just the fact that you're much more focused on that character, you just accidently slipped away from the story itself. It's a quick fix actually, you can simply take what you've written for that character and create a story or journal just for that character and his thoughts. That way, when you feel like you're beginning to focus a lot on this character, get out this other piece and write down whatever need be written, and as soon as you have all that out of your system, begin on your story again.

    Simple.

    I hope you fix it. :)
     
  10. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    If what you're writing is still relevant to the story in any way, keep it. It's development. There's no reason the story can't be led by different characters as long as the others stick around and still have some part to play. Unless you were doing some flashy literary technique and telling it like a relay, which I have always wanted to try but never had the awesome plotting power to work it out. :p

    Point is, you started writing that for a reason within the context of your story, so see what is happening with it. If the character has just wandered off home and is hanging out with his wife and kids and now it's a story about his everyday boring life, then maybe there's a problem. But if he's still doing something with the aim of affecting the plot, then there is still something to work with. Presumably he's doing it because the main character couldn't/wouldn't/didn't know it had to be done, assuming you've followed logical links all the way up to the point you've reached. I'd say, keep cutting back to scenes with the characters he's separated from, or if they're still together but he's the one leading all the action, then make sure the other characters still have scenes that establish their use to the plot, but there's no reason he can't lead the way.

    In the novel I finished recently my main character frequently just couldn't go places, so on 3 separate occasions a different character was the focus of the story, and all he did was sit at home twiddling his thumbs, because that was all he could do. I needed other characters to take over, so it didn't bother me. Look at the characters this run away one has left behind, and examine why they themselves aren't leading the story any more. Maybe it does NEED to be him.
     
  11. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you find your character going off course (and you don't like where he's heading), then it's time to tighten the reins and regain control (of cause if you are interested or curious to see where this ends up, go along with it for a while and the then decide whether to go back to your original idea or stay on this new road). It is up to you. You are the author, it is up to you to decide - not some figment of your imagination.
     
  12. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    I think I'll go along but save it for a later part.....
     

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