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My characters change the story!

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I am a novice writer, and I have an outline and storyboard for my current work, however I've found that sometimes my charaters change the direction I was going as I write about them.


Is this common?


I actually killed off a major character that I had written into the final scene...and then of course had to write him out and change the several other significant events where he was involved in the outline.


I like the new version, but it really surprised me that the act of capturing events and dialog on the page allowed for the characters to actually change a pretty significant portion of the store.



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It's very common. It means your characters are developing into real people with "minds" of their own. And it keeps the story exciting, for you as well as the reader.


My characters are such an ornery bunch that I barely bother to outline. I just try to make sure I know more or less where I plan to end up and have a bunch of signposts along the way; then I let 'em rip. If I don't outline at least that much, they'd wander off into the woods and throw a party, forgetting about the story altogether. But working out every detail seems like a waste of time when I know they're going to chuck half of my neatly developed plans into the nearest ditch as soon as I get five minutes into the story. :)


But then, I am a pantser ("seat of the pants" writer) by nature, not a plotter. So others' mileage may vary, as they say.



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Nice to hear this is common.


My only other writing experience is with technical documents, which of course don't have this luxury.


I really do fell like they often take me places I had no idea they were going. One of my female characters just threw me a curve this morning that I'm still dealing with. She is SUCH a ..... well, she does have a mind of her own, there is no doubt about that now.



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Great blog post! Thanks for sharing. I feel exactly the same way.


Only this morning one of my characters took me off in a direction that will only now seems to be the right choice. Another outline thrown away - but that too is OK :)

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