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Characters having lives of their own

So as a writer your head is full of different characters from the story you are working on, to ones in the past and for me ones for future projects. It's amazing I'm not gone crazy (well people who know me think I already have lol), with all the different voices and personalities that can be running around in my head. But what is the most amazing thing is how your characters can take on a life of their own.

I have had it a number of times, where I have been writing a story and one of my characters actually refuses to do what I want them to do. They will wonder off, go through a door that I don't want them to or even start interacting with another character in a way I wasn't intending them to do.

At first I always tried to pull them back from what they were wondering off to do and still do this now, especially when my story at that point has a main objective. But over the years of writing I have also realised it's best to let them have a life of their own, as in some cases it can take your story in a new and exciting direction and if your characters are enjoying themselves the story does seem to flow.

Yes I know what you are thinking, Characters enjoying themselves!! Well let me tell you a few years ago I was working on a novel and one character got mortally wounded, but he was the hero/love interest and I couldn't let him die so I forced him to survive! I have forced my characters before and it has been successful, but not this time. My character was unhappy I could tell. He seemed to be lacking the spark and the story just refused to flow. So I read the novel again from the beginning and when it got to the point of him getting wounded, I kind of stopped and went, OK what do you want to do?

And moments later he was dead! I was always worried about killing off the hero or love interest but after watching Games of Thrones see earlier post, I thought OK lets see what my character wants to do, as I knew from trying to write the novel as it was, he wasn't happy at all.

So the hero died in the heroines arms and you know what, it worked. The story picked up the pace, the girl carried on stronger than ever and a secondary character came into the fore. The story flowed and even though my intended ending had to change it worked very well and my heroine became stronger for it.

So now as well as not being afraid in killing off major characters, I know that sometimes its best to let my characters run free. As to be honest it is their world!

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