18 Things About Characters That Frustrate Writers #writerslife #writer

 

Working with fictional folk can be hard and at times it can feel like you are herding cats.

Here are some situations which show how frustrating characters can be…

  1. Characters hijacking your story.
  2. Characters getting too big for their fictional boots.
  3. Fictional folk starting to say what they want.
  4. Characters talking amongst themselves.
  5. Attention seeking minor characters who start to take over the plot.
  6. Hot characters leading you astray and making you write unnecessary steamy scenes.
  7. Characters talking out loud in the early hours when you are trying to sleep.
  8. Characters taking on your view of the world and not listening, as you screech at the laptop ‘for goodness sake be yourself!’
  9. Dull and lifeless characters!
  10. Characters who have this annoying habit of asking a question and the question bothers you so much you end up writing reams and reams trying to answer it.
  11. Characters who start to morph into your other characters halfway through a novel.
  12. Characters who distract you from normal day to day life and you find yourself apologising to loved ones saying ‘blame my character!’
  13. New fictional folk who decide to pop up at the wrong time.
  14. Characters who die in a pathetic way and you end writing their death again and again until you are satisfied with their grim departure.
  15. Characters who scare you and make you go to bed with the lights on.
  16. Characters who are clearly nuts and you worry about what they will say about you as a writer.
  17. Characters breaking into song at difficult moments.
  18. Happy characters when you want them to sound miserable. This leads you to muttering ‘I don’t see why you are so chirpy!’

Even though we enjoy working with fictional folk – they can be hard work! Sigh!

Let me know if there are any other situations I have missed.

photo credit: ikopix <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/96071098@N06/17572102233″>”geh deinen Weg…”</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

50 thoughts on “18 Things About Characters That Frustrate Writers #writerslife #writer

  1. It sounds like you need to get all your characters together, sit them down and have a good long talk tothem about maintaining order and boundaries. lol

      1. Yeah… that can work too. It sounds busy in your head, but I know what you mean. I get this too, they also tell me what to do often. This is often not helpful, having a dragon slaying knight advise on how to bring peace to an argument is often conunter productive.

  2. These are so hilarious. Awesome post. I definitely had the problem of minor characters being so compelling that they demand their own story – or more screen time in the same story, if you will.

  3. All independent activity by characters is to be celebrated. I know a lot of writers like to thoroughly and painstakingly plot out their stories, but for me, the unexpected is a sign that the story is working. I try to be flexible and see where the surprises lead, but I do admit to occasionally ordering up exile to another story, even the rare execution, but often I initiate a promotion.

    1. I like what you said here! At first when I started writing my first full length MS there was no independent activity and I thought that was normal and I was okay with that. It wasn’t until I was several revisions in, and many layers of character development later, that the little monsters started doing things to the story. BUT, the best part was that they were making the story so much better. I’m so glad that someone else agrees and celebrates the thing that both drives me a bit nuts but I also makes me secretly so so happy! ^.^

  4. Nope, I don`t think you`ve missed anything off the list. I so totally sympathise and get where you are coming from. For instance, there is a character in my head at the moment, granted he is the main character in one of my novels, but he is pushing to be let loose on my blog, just so he can tell the world all about himself. So if that happens please don`t blame me, blame the character. Great post enjoyed it thoroughly.

      1. Same to you! This post made me laugh and cringe at the same time. I have a few characters that are guilty of several of these points. They just get too real sometimes!

  5. Or when they change everything, while clearing up a major plot hole at the same time. So you want to shout to everyone what they’ve done, but if you do you give away an amazing twist!

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