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How Characters Alter Their Own Stories

How characters alter their own stories

Nothing to do with my new girl beyond being a convenient witch image.

Sitting at my PC, banging away on the keyboard as I write a scene for a new character being added to Aida, something pops into mind. A random scene, not something I’d planned or even thought about before this point. So let’s talk quickly about how characters alter their own stories.

So, I write the scene, laugh at the scene because my character has just been introduced to a new situation and is both mildly annoyed and somewhat flustered, then move to the next scene. If you’re thinking this is in any way unusual, trust me, it’s not. In fact, this is how I normally write, more or less completely at random, at least when it comes to individual scenes.

It’s been said by numerous writers that ‘your characters know their story better than you do’. And the totally random yet utterly perfect scene I just wrote for this character confirms that more eloquently than I could ever manage, even if given an unlimited word budget.

If you’ve read the first book, you’ll remember a flamboyant character by the name of Falconi. He exists to introduce the reader to the concept of character-type idols. People who create a character – a whole persona – and roleplay it at all times, at least in public, and sometimes even in private.

Yurika (no, not me, though I did take my pen name from her) in Aikatsu is a character-type, roleplaying as a vampire. Likewise, Ranko in Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls falls into this type. So you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the new character I’m talking about here is also a character-type. Specifically, she roleplays as a witch, using holographic tech to simulate magic. This is why Falconi uses this same technology when you first see him, informing the reader that this technology exists.

She decided she wanted to try being a vampire witch. Completely out of nowhere. Click To Tweet

I won’t go into too much detail on my new girl beyond the fact she’s a witch. You’ll have to read it when it comes out to discover more. 😉 What happened while writing this new scene, though… is she decided she wanted to try being a vampire witch. Completely out of nowhere. Just ‘this seems like it’d be fun’ and glaring at me until I wrote it for her.

And now I have written it for her, that’s a new aspect to her character. Or rather, it’s not, because she abandons the idea pretty quickly. But it’s an important little detail that will serve to add some extra flavour to her and scenes involving her (she occasionally comes up with weird ideas to try, which wasn’t actually a part of my initial plans for her).

One short little scene that popped into mind entirely at random, and it’s changed Bernadice (or possibly Beryl, haven’t quite decided on her name yet…) in ways – albeit relatively minor ones – I’d not considered before. Sometimes I worry about how my characters take on a life of their own… but then I remember that’s perfectly normal and just get on with letting them tell me what to do. After all, they know their stories better than I do.

 

(Image source via Pixiv, artist = Moonknives)

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