We get these ideas for stories and start to shape our characters as full-fledged people while we're constructing elaborate obstacle courses for them to navigate. We spend countless hours researching the jobs we want them to have in the places we want them to live and the time periods we want them to live in. But I've found that sometimes, if I'm really lucky, the learning process takes on a life of its own.
No matter how much shaping or molding I put into a character, one of my favorite parts of writing a story is the moment when that person starts to come into their own. Occasionally he or she will let me know that the job I picked out isn't working for them so much and they'd like to be such-and-such instead. Or they're not really a connoisseur of fine wine, they'd rather just kick back with an ice cold beer after a long day of work, thank you very much.
Once in awhile they lead me to something new that I enjoy. I found out I like a handful on not-popular Shakira songs when a heroine of mine wanted to dance around her living room to her, and I didn't know any of her music beyond the couple of hits I'd heard on the radio.
Sometimes they even like things that I do not, as in the hero I have who listens to Motorhead when he runs. Seriously!?! Motorhead? Without getting into the music itself, you'd pretty much have to be Superman to run to it, but there you have it. And as much as I wanted to like Indian food at one point in my own life, I do not. But I researched it thoroughly so the menu was authentic in a key scene instead of forcing them to eat something I knew more about.
I've even had a secondary character come into his own throughout the course of a story to the point that he pointed out a major trait in my main protagonist to ME!!! A conversation taking place between the two of them was just flying off my fingertips, and all of a sudden he said something that seriously made me stop typing and think, Well, aren't you smart, mister?
He's totally getting his own sequel for that.
Have you ever discovered something unexpected through your characters, even if it's something you don't necessarily like?
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Have a terrific weekend.