Stubborn characters

Alright, I know that the three or four of you that stop by are all writers, so here is today’s discussion topic.  I would like to hear an example from your story, either here or on your blog, where your characters disobeyed you.  Here is my example:

After leaving the dwarven city of Lothmurn, Mirian and Llaewyn declared a truce in order to get Mirian trained in her use of magic.  The first training scene where they were to be working together  quickly devolved into an argument, with both of them yelling at each other, stomping around, pulling others into the fight, a full on battle.

I sat back, staring at the screen, wondering what the hell just happened.  I knew what they were supposed to do, but when I wrote it, they kind of did their own thing.  Frustrated, I deleted the entire scene, and tried again, focusing on them getting along.  Still didn’t work.  They were noticeably nicer, but it still degenerated into an argument.

At that point I decided that this is just who they were, and there was nothing I could do about it.  Thus, the grass growing scene at the end of chapter 9 was born.

So now it’s your turn.  Feel free to use the comment space here.  If you prefer to use it as a post on your blog, let me know and I will post a link here to it so others can find it.  All I ask is a cross link back to here.  Let’s see what you’ve got!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Stubborn characters

  1. This one is hard for me to pinpoint. My characters do all sorts of crazy things. Cali took off after trolls, completely unaware of how dangerous they could be. I wanted to stop her, but she wouldn’t listen. And Jayden could never see how much Lilly loved him, and even though I tried to get them to at least talk about it/share a kiss/acknowledge it somehow, they were both too stubborn to cooperate.

    Sometimes, it’s as if the characters are driving the writing, and I’m just the secretary dictating it for them.

  2. Ryan in my first novel never listened to me. He’d stick out his tongue at me and flat out say, “I dont’ have to do anything you say. You’re just the author.”

    Callum in my current novel is even more unpredictable, but he acts less like a diva about it because he knows my main character will punch him again. Plus, his feelings about her aren’t returned, which makes him more angry than unpredictable.

    I think stubborn characters mean we’ve created living, breathing people – always a good thing for our readers to identify with them. That doesn’t mean our characters have the right to stick their tongues out at us, though. That’s just mean.

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