Why Won’t My Characters Listen to Me?!

Because you’re doing it right! I love it when my characters stop listening to everything I tell them to do. Yes, you could say I’m a bad parent. But I’m not here to baby my characters, as much as I love to.

If you want to be a serious writer your characters need to grow personalities of their own. If you write that a mean character who hates flowers just goes and picks one for no reason then sits among a field of them, you had better have a good explanation for that or else that character is going to start complaining. It’s just not in character and it’s not something they would do. And if you’ve found their personality then they won’t let you write anything else for them.

Now I’m not crazy

Captain Jack Sparrow

and for those of you who think I might be crazy I’ll explain it in another way. if you have a character with a certain personality, and you try to write them doing something different, your common sense is going to bug you till you write something that makes sense.

Now can I go back to being a crazy writer? Thank you.

The only thing is, you can’t let them control the story. I know it sounds nice. I know it sounds easier. But if you hand the reins over to them, you’re going to have a fight to get them back. Characters are like small children, they’ll cry and fuss and make a mess of everything before they let you take away their toys. That’s why you have to stay in charge. If you give your character full control they’re going to find the perfect, gorgeous spouse, a cute home, have as many children as they like, never die, and live happily ever after. The End. That’s no story. Sure it’s happy, but if you want your story to ever be readable you need to learn how to be a leader. Writing takes leadership to another level. You have to be in charge and listen to others… I mean, fictional people. Yeah… it might sound crazy. In fact I know it sounds crazy. But it’s still necessary.

Do you have any thoughts? Please share!

Have fun adventuring!



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