Thursday, February 7, 2013

Can characters take on a life of their own?

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Do you make a detailed analysis or a short spotlight into each person in your stories? A kind of profile to give you an idea of what drives each character to act the way they do under any situation. I know some authors go as far as giving their characters educations, complete background summaries and even do personality tests on them.


Or like me, do you fill in these characteristics as the story grows? I find that it's only by how they deal with each conflict I throw at them, that their personalities start becoming clear. And I do love conflicts!


There is one thing I always know and that is what they look like. Probably because before I ever put any words on file, I've lived with the characters in my head for a few weeks. So, by the time I start writing, I can see them as clear as if I was remembering an old friend.

It's how they react under different sets of circumstances that’s still a mystery which gets solved as I create each new scene.


This was a part of a blog I wrote a while ago about the characters in my Vegas Series. Then I decided to add in a book that I hadn’t originally planned when I first started. At that point, I realized just how much I truly get to understand my characters.


 “Vegas Shuffle” the short bridge story I just published for the Vegas series was as much of a surprise to me as to the readers. I knew exactly who my hero and heroine were because they had been in the spotlight since the first book. Only problem was that they were going to be separated for eleven months. My heroine would give birth to a baby and the hero had no idea. They lived in different cities and a chasm in their communication had driven a wedge between them.


Seems when the chips were down, he’d acted like a spoiled two-year old and she couldn’t find him to slap him out of it. So the need to introduce new characters had to be filled. And darned if I didn’t conjure up two endearing misfits who suit the story so well that I might have to keep the series going just so they can have their own romances.  


Which brings me back to my original statement.  My characters do take on a life of their own. They grow and change from the conflicts I throw at them. And to make writing really challenging, new ones appear and surprise the heck out of me.


Don’t you just love being a creator??
Come see for yourself!!!
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and all on one website!!!


  1. For sure characters can take on a life of their own. It happened in my first novel with Tony, a bit player, taking on a much larger role than I planned. I was startled by the power these fictional people had as I never believed authors who talked about their characters having a life of their own.

  2. Yes...I just love being a creator!:)
    Characters aren't easy to write because as you said they change along the way. Here is my latest post about characters and their relationships. If you want take a look.

  3. Hi Emandyves - it's true isn't it? I start writing about a person who I want to fit into a certain slot and darned if he/she doesn't show up with quirks I never suspected when I first created them - I love it!!!

  4. Hi Athina,
    Thanks for sharing your post. I went and voted in your pole and enjoyed your post on characters.