1. restore
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    restore New Member

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    fear.....

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by restore, May 11, 2009.

    When i now following the characters i built myself, the characters r making a life themselves more and more, and out of my surprise, i have huge fear now.........
    How do u handle it ?

    Acctually i m rewiting the story, the first one was more controlled by my minds but i feel it boring ......now it is out of control it seems.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    YOU create the characters. YOU determine the rules they operate by. They have noi independent existence or will. So how can they get out of your control?
     
  3. Sphi
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    Sphi Member

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    I don't see how your characters are making a life for themselves. Please elaborate.
     
  4. Nightsong
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    Nightsong Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. My characters also seem like seperate entities. They will always act according to their unique personalities, sometimes even forcing me to change portions of the story because they don't like the way it turned out. As for how you handle it, just go with the flow. It'll probably make your story turn out a lot better.
     
  5. Okie
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    Okie Member

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    Yup, there are people living in your head, just dying to get out. I know exactly how that feels. It's best to just let them go and see what they do. Worst case scenario, you are told you're crazy, best case, people will want to read your stuff.
     
  6. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    I believe I understand what you mean. When you create a character (or set of them), you can sometimes invent someone who seems in many respects to be a "person" - with likes, dislikes, preferences, biases, knowledge and experience all their own. And sometimes, even though we plot out our stories with everything planned out, sometimes the characters grow in a way you didn't expect.

    So your notes might read, "Chapter 6: Kevin, angered that Queen Yvonne has been seen meeting secretly with his political rival Lord Astan, decides to accept Gert's offer of political secrets in exchange for money." But maybe, in writing Kevin, you have discovered that he wouldn't jump to conclusions so quickly. You might even learn that if you write Kevin the way you had intended, your readers get annoyed and say "That seems too contrived! Kevin never acts so rashly. Stupid author, you're breaking out of character for the sake of the plot!"

    And then you have to make decisions. That's what Cogito means. No matter how much your characters seem to want to act, ultimately, YOU decide. So you need to choose: do you re-write the character's personality to make the plot seem less contrived? Do you introduce another scene to explain why, if he normally would assume the best of Queen Yvonne, he has chosen to act differently now? Do you change the plot to better fit his personality?

    Fear is a fairly reasonable response. You can have a plot and a character that just don't get along, and might have to revise. And if your plot is very very detailed, it can feel scary to abandon your plotline in order to let your character do . . . whatever your character would do. Confront Queen Yvonne. Go to a bar and drink his sorrows away. Arrange to have Lord Astan meet with him to discuss Queen Yvonne. Whatever.

    But the fear has to be mastered. The plot and the characters are your own, they came from your head, and in the end, they will never truly live unless you force yourself to write down their adventures. If that means re-writing plot or tweaking a character a bit, that's fine. And it can result in really good writing - for example, Steven King says in On Writing that he originally intended for the protagonist of Misery to die, but the character turned out to be a lot more resourceful than King had anticipated. So he went with the changes that seemed true to the character, and the book is probably better for it.

    Just keep writing. Good luck.
     
  7. seije
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    seije Member

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    i know what you mean. Several of my characters have personalities that didn't quite match what i had originally envisioned, and because of that, conversations lead to different places. they make decisions that i hadn't envisioned them making when i first started brainstorming.

    when that happens to me, i usually let the characters follow their own path and see where it leads them while still keeping a bit of a leash on them so they don't stray too far from my story line. I have to admit i like it that way. If your characters have a real personality, you're bound to run into some hiccups unless you're just amazingly thorough at planning.

    At least, that's my (incredibly inexperienced) opinion.
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Different parts of your brain are at war with each other. Just write it the way you want it to go.
     
  9. Romendacil
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    Romendacil Member

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    The plot and the character seem, to me, very linked.
    You should have your plot by your characters and vice versa.
    I mean... what would the play Hamlet have been, if the lead character were a ruthless and just person with no doubts and hesitations on the matter of revenge for his dead father...?
    The plot was driven by him and he was driven by the plot.
    At times you can't tell which one is happening... usually perhaps both?
     
  10. bumboclaatjones
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    bumboclaatjones Member

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    I say let your characters do as they please and see where it goes. You might find that it takes the story to some incredibly interesting places that you hadn't really thought of. In the chance that it sucks, just save a copy where you are and then return to it later. Of course, the choice is always yours, seeing as how it's your story.
     
  11. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    When I think about my characters I think of what purpose their actions would serve. I can't fathom them acting on their own. I never feel out of control.
     
  12. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    I disagree with this. I have a very good imagination, so good that my characters become complete people on their own and I do lose control over them sometimes. It's fun though, I just let them do whatever the heck they do and see if I can come up with something interesting out of it.
     
  13. archer88i
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    archer88i Member

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    Haha! I know the feeling.

    What can I say, man? Some mother****ers are always trying to ice skate uphill... If they get to uppity, kill one of them.
     
  14. akania
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    akania Member

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    pesky little fetches ;)
     
  15. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Some of the best fiction arises out of that very surprise, fear, and loss of "control." Let it fuel your imagination and lead you wherever it goes. I think the best use of "control" is really for polishing and readjusting the final outcome. But there's often a remarkable freshness in stories written by authors who permit their characters and characters' circumstances to lead them into places that are unknown and frightening, both to their characters as well as themselves.
     
  16. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    That totally made me laugh so hard my sister was looking at my strangely.

    I get what you mean about feeling out of control sometimes though, I think every artist at one point in time feels like that, where suddenly, you're characters are a lot more real then you intended/felt (or even wanted)- like a villian who suddenly, you empathize for. This goes same with another of my past times, drawing- I try to draw an elephant and it turns out to be a goose. Sometimes you just gotta let it flow then try and fix (or marvel ) it later.
     

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