Last night I was busy plotting some aspects of the next book in my Hunters series. I had a character in mind who would be a minor secondary character. What I decided originally was she would be about 40-50 years old. Apparently, this character found this amusing. She decided she's only 17. Okay, fine, you're a blonde goth/punk sassy teen. "Nope, I'm extremely shy, prefer to blend in, and I have mousy brown hair."
How the hell did this happen? I'm the creator. I made her. How is she calling the shots now?
Oh, it gets better. I had planned on her making only a few short appearances, then disappearing. Once again, she spoke up. This time she just busted out laughing. She ain't going nowhere! She has decided she wants to be in a couple of the books. Let me say this again, HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!
All of this seems a little wacky to my non-writer friends and family, but when I posted this little "issue" my writer friends chuckled. Every writer, apparently, has gone through this at one time or another. But, how is this possible? That's what I really want to know. These characters are make believe. Can you imagine if when you were a kid your imaginary friend suddenly decided they were someone else? Talk about causing some major trauma to your adolescent psyche!
I've heard other writers talk about fleshing out their characters, and deciding things for them. But, how much control did they really have? I mean, I write things out, usually on my dry erase board, then transfer the information to some index cards assigned to that specific character. I'm what they call a plotser, as I only plot to a certain point, then let the story develop on its own. But, my characters usually decide who they are with no help from me. Even the names are rarely assigned by me.
Do we writers suffer from a form of multiple personalities, or do we just have extremely overactive imaginations? Is there a pill, and would you take it if there were? *laughs*
Tell me, do you control your characters, or do they have constant control over the reigns?