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=Char= A life of their own...

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12/29/2011 1:38:29   
Constructively Friendly!

Still smarting from this:

[A certain dragon] was so cunning and stealthy, he even caught me unawares... Is it bad when your characters run rings around you and laugh, as you are fooled by their most basic of plottings? Grrr...

...and wondering if anyone's been victim to something similar. Have you ever been out-smarted by one of your own characters, or have they ever taken on a life of their own?
Post #: 1
12/29/2011 1:47:05   
Shadow Ravena
Paladin of Shadows

A life of their own... constantly. My characters write the story- I'm just the instrument they use. This becoming interesting when they go through tragedies that I have never experienced, or see so remember thing I can very vaguely recall. I can't say they out-smart me, as I am not the best plot-writer in the world (more a character/world person), but they do remember little details I read a year or more ago...

anyways, reportedly this is how Bram Stolker wrote to some degree, as he would dream his stories (or parts of them) and then go from there. Dracula actually started as a nightmare- wouldn't want that dream honestly!
AQ DF AQW Epic  Post #: 2
1/3/2012 6:16:53   

Oh, absolutely this has happened to me. I find writing what I want to often turns into writing what they want. As Shadow said, 'I'm the instrument they use'. Most of the time, anyway.

< Message edited by Helixi -- 1/3/2012 6:18:13 >
AQ DF  Post #: 3
1/10/2012 12:40:58   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!

I am a victim of my own creations. Editing kills me. My original novella, Dionysus' Challenge was 10 chapters long. I was DONE with it. I even went on to nearly finish Book 2 in the series. I had them both posted. Then, I went to edit as I was going to ready them for publication. I... kept having characters "need" more detail, more background. Some of them suddenly "needed" their friends/cousins/brothers/sisters/moms. I found myself needing to move this here to satisfy this character there.

Now? I am far from done. I am on chapter 11 I think. 11! Now, I am not actually complaining as I think the additions, the detail, the complexity of the story has greatly benefited. It's much richer, much more enjoyable.

But, I have this bad habit of listening to my characters. Or, letting them take over. I get carried away in my writing and that is the result.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
1/13/2012 18:33:52   
Hadal Serpent

Definitely. I was done with the first act of my tragedy, Decay, and when I asked for a response from my friends, they told me that my antagonist needed a reason why he was so heartless. I was told that my characters needed better characterization.

I thought to myself even though my play had only one act and two characters, it was already hard enough to give them good, believeable detail. I mean, when you work on a story for so long, it's difficult to avoid having your characters respond directly to each other without having them sound like lifeless robots.
DF  Post #: 5
1/13/2012 18:38:13   

Hm, in a way this has happened to me. I don't write much, so I had attempted to write a short story for DF's last FXII war. The problem was...as soon as I started, the entire story literally changed. Everything I had planned became twisted and inverted. It wasn't even just a character, it seemed I no longer had control of the story itself.
DF MQ  Post #: 6
1/13/2012 18:59:00   
Hadal Serpent

Though I do find it helpful if I make a mind map before I start writing any story I make, just to remind myself that each of my characters have different personalities and purposes in the story.
DF  Post #: 7
1/22/2012 18:45:30   
Reaper Sigma

Of course. I don't protest my characters having their own voices. They live their own lives, have their own adventures. Joys, sorrows, birth, death, I'm simply a bystander watching their lives unfold. I think Ravena's words sum it up nicely:


My characters write the story- I'm just the instrument they use.
Post #: 8
2/27/2012 0:33:27   
Sir Nicholas

I rather like the name of this thread.

To answer - yes, as a matter of fact, my character once did take on a life of his own. The vibrant personality and peerless optimism and courage I portrayed him in, in those days were what won him the respect of everyone who served with my old Creative Team. We were quite a crew back then - and then there was mine, their badass leader.

He became something that I held dear to my heart. He was my pride and joy, and every time I wrote with him, it felt like I was really creating something great. In time - he became more than just a character on a page, he became more like a dear friend - like a part of myself.

See, I designed my early character to be the ideal embodiment of a Hero. The kind of man who was willing to stand up and be brave, even in the face of great danger. All the while, he could be a total badass - or humble and polite. He was compassionate, idealistic and a dear friend to his allies.

Even when the time came, when I decided to up and end his story - he still got a proper sendoff, in exactly the way you would expect: Through a Heroic Sacrifice that made grown men cry. In fact, I got several PM's asking for me to bring the character back, but I replied that wouldn't be happening, because it would negate the very concept of the heroic end he had always been wanting.

Yeah, I really loved those old days - and I remember them well, but I do know there's even greater glories out there, just waiting to be discovered.


We are the pure among the corrupt.
We are the innocent among the guilty.
We are the sword and shield of the Divine, and forever shall we serve.
AQ  Post #: 9
7/11/2012 17:01:05   
Gianna Glow

Oh, most definitely. Part of the goal of writing a character is to create a person... and with all people, if you want them believable, you will write as they should be... however, that can turn into situations where you didn't think you would go. To me, its an interesting look into the human (or animal) psychology.
DF MQ AQW  Post #: 10
10/9/2012 17:16:05   

I used to be like this...
but I don't know I lost my feeling for writing it's just not there anymore my characters everyone of them gone like I never thought them up...
Post #: 11
10/9/2012 22:38:31   

I noticed in a roleplay I was doing recently. I had written my character into a corner because I had written some other stories where his fate had been sealed, but I had so many plot holes. Then just as I was about to kill him off it all hit me and I penned the best ending I had ever done. All of the characters came together correctly and it was as if they had been directing me from all along.
Post #: 12
12/8/2012 3:10:34   
Ronin Of Dreams
Still Watching...

The true nature of any character really just winds up speaking through you, serving as a medium, rather than translating an idea to paper. At least this feels like the ideal nature of the beast where characters and their stories are concerned. One of the reasons why I fear I shall never write Ronin's sagas is that my mind will be drawn back and forth to different periods such that penning a novel will be rendered nigh impossible. Other times for other characters I shall have these nearly bardic moments of extemporaneous prose spoken aloud or barging in on my unprepared mind (driving, for instance) and shall never be able to recapture in its purity or its presence no matter how many times I attempt to write those scenes later.

Alternatively, I may just listen to them too much and at inopportune times, just to a contrary result unlike Eukara.
AQ  Post #: 13
1/6/2013 22:55:00   

A life of their own? Ha, I have even bigger problems than that of a single character suddenly gaining sentience.

I have a character that has rewritten entire plot back drafts to her choosing. I'm sure some of you already know this person. At first, I created her simply as a humorous jab at one of my favorite horror authors, but then that went out of hand real quick. I quickly found her invading all of my stories, and directly influencing how the plot should go and how it should end. And the worst thing, this seems to happen on a subconscious level on my part. No matter how hard I try to get rid of her, she always butts in in some point of my work.

Now I feel how writers at DC are struggling with Kingdom Come Flash. The character has simply gotten too powerful that simply writing them out won't work. A character that has become stronger than the author himself, per se.

Looking back, Hounds of God's original plot was FAR different and was more straight forward than it is now, and I simply can't change it back without going with a complete rewrite of the entire story.

Thanks a lot, Lawrence.

DF MQ  Post #: 14
1/7/2013 1:22:35   


Now I feel how writers at DC are struggling with Kingdom Come Flash. The character has simply gotten too powerful that simply writing them out won't work. A character that has become stronger than the author himself, per se.

Haha, yeah that was something else.
Kinda glad in JJBA Giorno only got his hax powerup at the very end and then never appeared again.

I've had this issue with a character in my L&L. He started as a reference to a character I was fond of in another series, but apparently people liked him too much for that and he slowly developed a bigger part in the overall plot.
DF MQ  Post #: 15
1/7/2013 1:36:20   

I think this deserves a new thread, but while we're at it, the problem with characters overtaking the story is that you're not really sure what the outcome would be. You're no longer writing a story that you want, but tricking yourself to adjust the plot to fit the whims of this certain character. It's not even a case of author appeal anyway.

DF MQ  Post #: 16
1/7/2013 2:02:19   

I know for a fact that it's the case with Mordred's Vengeance. Truth be told, he was just meant to be a spr strong necromancer who was for teh evulz who decided he was going to conquer a world virtually devoid of magical knowledge(Terra). Yeah. :P He decided that's not what he wanted to be, and it somehow ended up changing from that to being a founding DragonLord trying to bring Order to the whole universe.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 17
1/7/2013 20:38:59   
How We Roll Winner

Well, seeing as I dabble mostly with the AE NPCs, I would say that Arthur finds something new in each of them thus changing his responses and shaping new meanings out of them so that I no longer can retain what I originally wished for him to be. It's a funny little thing letting your character play at his own accord while you desperately try to keep up. Infact, it's more difficult handling him when there's no other familiar character around as like me, even Arthur's trying to find out how they'll response.

It's pretty much of a mutual relationship with my characters. They help me move the story further and I let them do as they please.
DF MQ AQW  Post #: 18
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