Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rights for Characters!

Recently, I've been unable to write the story I've been working on for the last five months. So, I'm taking a break, because I always take a break when I'm stuck.

But when I take a break, I don't stop writing. I just write other things, exploring new ideas, and thinking about old ones. I half-start new stories, and work on old half-started stories that I haven't even looked at for years.

And in some dark corridor of my mind, I found one of my old characters, sitting dejectedly with his giant pet caterpillar in his lap. He glared up at me, and started complaining. Pretty soon, he was yelling at me. Oh, he had a reason, and a good one. But then again, he always has a reason.

This character is the most moody, emotional, stubborn character that I have ever come up with. I've had him since sixth grade, and I've tried so many times to put him in stories, but he always ends up throwing a fit because I've re-written a scene one too many times, or put him with characters he doesn't like. But he's very good at rebelling and I, frankly, am absolutely terrible at dealing with rebellion. He's stormed out of my stories, and argued with me and somehow, he makes me feel like the bad-guy. He once even organized a full character strike and I had to negotiate terms.

I just had another argument with him, and he stormed off. So, yeah, I'd better be careful or I'll end up with a full character rebellion.

But anyway, do you ever talk to your characters? Do they ever talk to you? How do you keep them from campaigning for rights for fictional characters?


  1. My characters used to talk to me all the time. And then one day they came to me and said, "We're not talking to you anymore."
    "What? Are you mad that I made you re-do the ending again?" I asked.
    "No, it's just that if we can talk to you, you don't really believe in us."
    I had to think about that a while. It was true, in a way. They wanted to be real fictional characters, not merely my imaginary friends.
    I still love them dearly, and I can still hear them talking in my head all the time, but they talk to each other, not to me.

  2. LOL! Character strike! Writers beware.

    My characters are entirely too charming and usually get me to do what they want. It's not a healthy relationship. :)

  3. So very funny. :) And like Rebecca most of my characters talk to each other. They just do it loudly so I can't get any peace. And they keep at it until I write what they want. I had this one guy that I kept trying to kill off. He was supposed to be a minor character, but no. He was pushy, determined, and downright stubborn. How did it turn out? He didn't die, he didn't dwindle into minor character nothingness. That darn guy became a viewpoint character. Don't tell him, because the last think I need is for him to have more ego, but he was my favorite to write.

  4. Awesome! I love the caterpillar in his lap. Seriously, I want someone to draw a picture of him.

    When you get his story figured out it will be amazing.

  5. Amber, ha ha, great post, and how true! My characters have a bad habit of talking to me AFTER the story is finished. Yes, they talk to me a lot during, but months or years after I'm done, they pop up, saying, "Hey, why didn't I do this instead?" Very annoying, and usually spot on! When I can, I go back and fix it. When I can't I get to listen to them go on and on. *Sigh*

  6. I can't say I've talked to my characters, but I've pretended to be them and chat with another writer's character. It's literally by the seat of your pants! Whoa!


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  8. Okay, I lied. My characters DO still come and talk to me. Last night I was cleaning the kitchen and thinking about my current project. I said to myself, "There's something fundamentally wrong about the way I'm approaching this."
    And my main character said, "Yes! You're not letting me tell the story!"

  9. I hate/love it when characters know more about writing than I do.

  10. What makes you think we're not campaigning?


What be on yer mind?