What do you do when you and your character disagree?



I’M LATE!! Okay, not late exactly since I typically post on Wednesdays, BUT I am late in writing this post. I usually write a post a day or two a head of time so I can give it full concentration and focus. Not this week though! This week I am going to just free-write my thoughts and whatever happens is what is being posted. Which actually I find free-writing therapeutic, so really it is win/win. Bet you didn’t think you signed up to be my therapist when chose to read this. Well too bad it is too late to turn back now!  What’s that? You can just leave the page…No wait! Stay! I was only joking. Ugh, i just choked on a piece of kale. Not sure why I felt the need to share that but hey FREE-WRITING! You never know what you’re going to get.

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As you know I am writing a book. Well actually I have written a book, but now it is in the editing and expanding process. It is set in modern times but has roots in Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, and it is always a rule that a Shakespeare comedy ends with a wedding. This is where I run into my problem, I don’t think 2 of my characters should end up together.

I know what you are thinking, this is my story and my world and I can make them do anything they want. But really this story has become so real to me, I know these characters like they are real people. I don’t have any power over them, they tell me what to write. Don’t worry, I don’t mean literally and am not actually hearing voices. Maybe I am alone in this feeling but when I write it becomes so vivid and real feeling. They feel like real people, with their own thoughts and feelings.

I’ve been struggling with this for a while now. I honestly don’t feel like she is making the right decision. But then I wonder, am I letting my own life experiences and past hurt influence what I think? Am I thinking as Stephanie or am I thinking as Hope? While I may write some things that actually happened to me, and some of my characters end up some of my personalty traits, they are not me. I saw this post online once that talked about this, saying that just because they write a character doing something does not mean they condone it or would ever do it themselves.  I get the impression from the post that they were more talking about their antagonists.

This is a very sweet character, that just wants to be loved and get married. I feel like if I let my own prejudices interfere and write the ending different I am betraying the character. Almost like I am saying there is something wrong with her before. Is it just a cop out to change it? If I look 5 years down the line for her, I’m worried she would not be happy. If she were my friend, I would warn against it. Maybe just like friends I just have to let her do it. Maybe it isn’t such a bad choice, maybe I need to not be so bitter about my own past relationships and not be such a pessimist.


Damn, I just worked out the main issue here (self-realization high five). It’s my own past getting in the way. I see her headed towards a relationship that could easily turn out like my own past ones. With hindsight, I can see the red flags and know how bad it could be. Not every situation is as bad as I think it could be, and sometimes people do actually change. Just because I haven’t experience people changing for the good doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I guess I need to settle some of my own issues I thought I had moved on from.

I need to find a resolution that satisfies the character’s personality but also doesn’t go against my own gut feeling. Until then I will remind myself the opposite of what I feel for myself: Romance isn’t dead, people can change, and in the right situations love is enough. At least I can make those statements be facts inside my pretend world.


5 thoughts on “What do you do when you and your character disagree?

    1. I know! I need to just do it. I’m just going to assume that it will all work out! Not everything is perfect or even as big of a mess as I think. I’m going to just get out of my head like you said and do it. I think I will make things a little harder on Nate though. He’ll have to work a little harder for her.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, as Matthew Woodring Stover once said, ‘fiction is a slippery concept’. I think that, if you find yourself disagreeing with your characters – let them have their head. I’m paraphrasing Stover again here, but I think a writer should come up with the characters first, and then decide what kind of situations to put them in, and see what they do.

    Liked by 1 person

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