My characters uncharacterized themselves on me. It was really quite cruel.

You see, D2 (Draft 2) sultan was scheming and conniving, very wise, very astute, possibly thought cruel, but I really liked him. He knew what was going on with everyone, all the time, and he manipulated events to his pleasing. (Remember the Conspiratorial Characters?)

And I just realized that D2 sultan killed his own son. It took me that long to get that. Not, like, directly, but he, in all his event-manipulating, must have realized that Tash would die.

Which leaves me with a problem. I really like the sultan. I think he's cool. And I want my readers to like him too, to realize his brilliance and agree that he's pretty cool. Which they won't do if the guy goes off and kills Tash.

Did I mention that Tash is a Melancholy/Phlegmatic and actually cries at one point (as an older teen, so it's a big deal)? You can't just have the sultan kill this guy and think that everyone will love you for it. They won't. Or, at least, they won't love the sultan.

"What to do?" I asked myself.

Myself replied, "Maybe Tash was planning treachery."

Great. Just great. The sultan's getting more paternal and Tash is a villian? This can't be possible. Us writers can take twists, but not that great of twists. Tash is sweet. He is not a villian. He can't be.

So I can make D3 Sultan nicer, or D3 Tash meaner. Either way, stuff's gotta change.

It's beyond frustrating to change character types. Because it tends to lead to all sorts of sub-plotting and such. It messes me up. I'm on my final draft. I should not have this problem! My brain is getting confused!!

What about you? Any startling revelations that your characters have given you lately?

(No, I don't know what the R2 stands for. I just liked the D2 aspect of it.)


Creepy Query Girl said...

It's mutiny I tell you! Sounds like the problem lies in one of the manipulations. Maybe it could be a false manupilation? somehow make his death not the sultan's fault? When all else fails, I usually make someone drive me around until I've got it all figured out...:)

Jody Hedlund said...

LOL! Love the play on R2-D2! I actually love when my story takes a new twist that I hadn't thought of previously. I really try to know my characters before I start, so usually the characters won't morph into villians. But the twists and turns and suprises are some of the things I like best about the writing process! :-)