Friday, March 1, 2013

Do Your Characters Take Over Your Book?


Let them.

I mean it. Say you have a great outline, and the story is moving along steadily as you outlined it, when all of a sudden your character says to you:

"Wait, I don't want to do that! I wouldn't do that!"


Photo by: Jagz Mario, courtesy of Flickr
They simply stop speaking and turn down another lane.

I don't know about you but I like it when my characters take over. They know themselves better than I do anyway, and if something in their story isn't feeling right to them, I like it that they have the confidence to do something else.

I'm glad I no longer hang onto them with a short rope.

There's something amazing and good that happens when your characters take over. It's kind of like inspiration and dictation all at the same time. And I'd like to think that my story will be better for it.

  • So, you have a great ending, but your characters don't like it. Change it.
  • You're midway through your book and your main character says, "I shouldn't be doing that yet, I've got these other mountains to climb first," or something under those lines. Slow down.
  • Your stumped, you're stuck. Listen.
I promise you, it will be worth it.


  1. My characters get very bossy, and I'm convinced my books are all the better for my listening to them. Now, if only I had a few more readers convinced...

  2. I know what you mean about readers, but I also know that hard work and focus equals success! Good luck to you!


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