Most writers that I know (myself included) often love to refer to their characters talking to them, telling them what they want to do, thinking inside their head. I just wanted to drop a few lines affirming that yes, characters sometimes doe things that go against the author’s original ideas. I think it’s rather common that characters suddenly decide to add their own twists to your carefully-devised plot only to laugh into your face while throwing it all over.
During the drafts of Light that I’ve done so far (this one including the Osiris-zero draft from back in 2006 as well as the first draft that’s now physically there), a couple of those things happened, here are some examples.
First off, the original main character in Light was supposed to be Osiris, his plot basically starting where the first draft of Shadows left off. Honestly, Osiris just decided that he’s too utterly insane to be a good protagonist and that overall this wasn’t his story, so he decided to retreat until further notice to maybe jump out of my notebook for a later book of Light.
Then, luckily, Ares pops up. Ares, originally the son of two of my roleplaying characters makes the perfect protagonist with a good deal of emotional baggage. Also, Ares decides that he definitely does not want to be the hero, because man, everyone knows: Heroes die and that’s something Ares isn’t quite up to (yet).
Oh and there’s Damian, who originally was supposed to play the role of the brotherly friend, who’s in a relationship with Naerya. Guess Damian decided he wanted to be gay and dump Naerya for Ares…or something like that.
Then of course there are the villains who a) are outsmarting the good guys from top to bottom in Shadows and b) are much more complex and not just on one side at all. Against the original idea of the prologue, Arturiel Valyr actually feels pretty bad about what he’s done and is still looking to cope. Don’t know if he’ll ever achieve that, but hey, he can always try, right?
Anyway, to somehow bring this character ramble to a conclusive end: I’m really glad that over the first draft and even before my characters have evolved as they did and if they’d had to beat me to it occasionally, then that’s fine with me.
Characters talk, which means yes, there are voices in my head that only I can hear. Don’t tell me you’ve got a problem with that :p