Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I'm probably in the minority on this one.
Sometimes writers talk about their characters as if they're real people. And I don't mean as in, "So and so did such and such," I mean, they talk about their characters as if they are people with their own agency that the author has little control over.
You'll hear things like, "I had big plans for what was going to happen, but then my character Suzy had other ideas!" or "Every time I sat down to write my novel, Suzy just made me take her to the craziest places."
On the one hand, I get it. It can be sort of strange to write a character whose internal logic you learn to obey. You might plan your novel ahead, but when you actually get down to writing it, you know your character's motivations so well you realize your previous plans don't make sense. It can feel like a character is gradually gaining control over your novel.
On the other hand, who is writing this novel?? Who are these characters that are outside of these writers' head and outside of their control?
Confession: it kiiiiiiiiiiiind of weirds me out.
Am I alone on this one or are there others out there like me?
Art: An Eunuch's Dream by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ