I have spent the last four months intensively working on one manuscript, and now, it is out of my hands and before the eyes of a professional. I promised myself I wouldn’t look at it again for a while so instead, I have started writing the next one. My desk is covered with a dictionary, thesaurus, name book, plot structure, notes on narrator and tense as well as every piece of info I have for this new book. And yet, less than 1000 words in, a character has emerged. She is fully formed, has a personality I admire and gives me the very distinct impression that she is here to stay.
The same thing happened with my last manuscript. I presented the name of a character just to fill a small role. And they took the control from me, demanding to be written a certain way. I long ago stopped fighting with my characters and learned that my role was merely to suggest that they perform certain tasks. They often ignore me. Perhaps I’m not loud enough.
This made me think though; I wonder if anyone else loses control over their characters, or if it’s just me?