I find the task of creating fictional characters a fun experience, for the most part. I determine their physical aspects, personality traits, background information, aspirations, fears, joys, and so on. No-one can tell me how to design a fictional character, because each one is created by me.
But what if the character takes a life of his own…I mean, that’s great, right? It drives the story along, creates a more natural piece of fiction. But what if the character becomes uncontrollable?
It doesn’t happen with all of my characters, but every now and then the odd boy (or girl) seems to take it upon himself to reveal an idiosyncrasy or personality flaw that bends and twists my story-line in a fashion that redefines it. It’s not always a negative awareness. Sometimes it’s a good revelation, but one that ultimately affects the story in some way.
Still, I allow him to let loose, because I give it all to the Lord and my God may have a plan that I’m yet to comprehend, and all I can do is follow His lead, hoping that the character behaves as best he can. Should the revelation be a negative one, -one that is simply rebellious and obviously not a gift from the Lord, I find myself in a bind. In order to maintain the integrity of the story, I am forced to lay down the law.
I have to remind my character of what’s expected of him, to a certain extent, of course.
I’m like a controlling mother, with more children than the ones I gave birth to physically. These are the babies I gave birth to creatively, and they had better behave, or they’ll be put in a time-out…which, of course, means I’ll save them for when another story, more fitting their rebellious nature, is conjured up.
Have you ever had a rebellious character take control of your fictional story?