Have you ever been writing when all of a sudden a character just walks into the scene and starts doing and saying things that you hadn’t planned on?
Wait…what? They can’t do that. They aren’t real. They are in your head, you know make belief, they can only do what you tell them to do.
Well, anyone who is a writer knows that, that is a load of BS, but back to my point.
Yes, it’s true. Characters take on lives of their own and sometimes, just sometimes, they pop up in unexpected places and do things that shake your whole plot line to the core.
I’ve only had it happen to me a couple of times, and were nothing short of moments of either utter brilliance or wanting to throw my computer across the room because the moment they stepped into the scene, the outline was useless.
Oh joy. *eyeroll*
So what is a writer to do in these moments? Well depending on how good it makes the scene or improves the overall story arch then, I say GO WITH IT!
And, then maybe punish that character later for disobeying. *wink*
More often than not, the best things that happen are when we are in the thick of our craft and something unexpectedly and without thought explodes. That’s our imagination at work and without it a writer wouldn’t be a writer. We long for moments of unexplained enlightenment, long for those goose bumps that fleck our arms when the imaginary light bulbs flick on.
Writing is hard enough, why shouldn’t we get help anywhere we can—especially, if it’s from our characters deciding to take on a life of their own.