What to do if your characters take over your plot.

Before you write, you should know this…. All authors learn this one day, but you’ll be ahead of the game if you realize that you’ll probably start out to write one book, but as you progress, the book will morph into another direction.

You may say that it won’t happen to you. You may think that you have such a tight outline of your story that your characters will not be able to lead you away.  They will and the more you fight it, the more your book will suffer for it.

Here are a few of the things that happen when you’re writing a novel..

1. You think you know your characters inside an out before you start writing. Character sketches and biographies are important. They outline the back story for each of your important character. Just because you’ve listed all the idiosyncrasies for each of your characters and their likes and dislikes, don’t be shocked and don’t balk when they surprise you now and then and take on new ones.  After all, they are supposed to be humans too and we all grow and change.  That doesn’t mean you want to let them change too much, but be flexible. They may lead you in a good direction.

2. You plot may change as you go along.  Now, I’m not advocating that you go off in every wild direction with your plot, but don’t out if you get the urge to go in a different direction than your outline. When this happens, pause and think it through. I know it seems strange when an author says that the book and the characters develop minds of their own, but it does seem that way.  Let it happen to a certain degree and then evaluate whether the new direction is better.

3. Settings too  may change with time. You may find that your plot works well but the setting you have chosen does not serve it well.  If you find yourself fighting against your setting then change it. If you’re using a real city for your story but it is too restrictive for the story, then develop a fictional setting that will work better.

Some of these changes won’t be evident to you before you write. Don’t let them startle you. As you write the first draft of your story, it’s important to be flexible and make changes as you see necessary.

My latest painting:  Heather

SONY DSC

About loubelcher

I'm a freelance artist and writer. I enjoy anything whimsical and my art and writing generally concentrate on the lighter side of life.
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One Response to What to do if your characters take over your plot.

  1. jim belcher says:

    I love this painting. ❤🐸🌴🐳

    Sent from my iPhone

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