Characters are the reason we read and learn to love a story. We relate, live, dream and hope right along with them. Before I started writing, I believed those characters were the product of the author’s imagination. Now I’m not so sure.
Characters have a charming way of just appearing out of nowhere and introducing themselves. As a writer, I have a pretty good idea where a chapter is heading or how a character will develop. Until the character starts calling the shots and telling me, the writer what’s happening.
It’s like trying to row a boat with only one paddle while the other paddle is in your character’s hands and he or she is trying to go in the opposite direction. You can either fight it (word to the wise – you’d have more luck paddling backwards against white water rapids) or you can join your characters and let them show you where the action is.
If I’m really not sure where a particular part of the story is headed, I sit down and ‘interview’ my characters. It’s fascinating what you can learn about your own story by stepping into it. In fact, you could even say it’s magical!