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When Your Characters Behave Unexpectedly

surpriseweddingSome friends and I were playing an RPG tonight (role-playing game, for those of you that grab your geek creds from elsewhere), and when the GM left the room for a few minutes, the other players and I came up with a brilliant plan to tie up the approximately 5 various different plot lines that had been building to a conclusion for the last few sessions. Not only did our plan succeed admirably, but we managed a true Shakespearean-style ending to a campaign that began with a Bardic theme that was otherwise mostly ignored.

As we finished, I turned to Rexroth and boasted, “I totally have my blog post for the day!” That is — when characters completely blindside their creators.

Now, you may be an outliner of your novels, or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, but chances are you have some sort of idea of what your characters are going to do. And most creations of your own mind don’t sit around a table in your basement plotting behind their author’s back for a completely different ending than you intend.

Then again, sometimes it SEEMS like they do.

So what do you do? Do you wrestle them back into place, poke them back into their boxes and say, “No, do THIS!” Or do you let them run, and see what happens? If you’re an author like our GM, our character-wrassler, you let them run, and find yourself with a totally appropriate As You Like It-esque ending.

Have you had a situation like this happen to you? Tell me about it!

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