Sometimes the characters that I’m writing about just don’t want to do what I say. I’m not talking about not posing right for a photo in the sims, or not making the expressions that I want them to. I mean literally not agreeing with what I want to write them as and rebelling against me. I’ve had this in my head for a while now – figure I might as well share it with you guys.
Evelyn was meant to die. In the chapter where she ventured into the forest and encountered that pack of wolves, my original intent was to kill her off, then let Chase find her body. Her death scene was proving to be difficult to write- when that happens, I resort to a notebook rather than a laptop to write out my ideas. Usually, that works.
Every once in a while though, characters that I’m having trouble with show up in my head, for a lack of better term. This is what happened with Evelyn. This all happened inside my mind as I was writing, but later I thought back on it and figured it’d actually make for a nice short story.
This is not a legit chapter (and as it was all in my head, there are no new pictures to accompany it), but heck, this is my blog and I can post whatever I want. =3
The next chapter is still in-the-making, my dear simmers =3
“When she shakingly took another step back, the eyes followed. In the few, weak rays of moonlight that were able to penetrate the thick canopy above, Evelyn could finally make out what they were. Wolves. Huge, feral, almost rabid-looking wolves whose repulsing eyes were trained on her and her only. The leader of the pack, a huge black-coated beast, bared its fangs in a low-sounding growl, a sound that was soon picked up by the rest of them. Evelyn could see their sharp fangs flickering in what little moonlight there was, and instantly knew.
She had to get away from there, now.
If not, she was going to die right where she stood.
Slowly, the wolf pack closed in on her.”
I put down my pen. With swift eye movements, I went over her last paragraph. It seemed good. Just enough to make it an intense moment, but not so much that it was over the top. Satisfied, I nodded. This was good. Good enough to move on to the next moment in Evelyn’s soon-to-be-ending life.
That was going to be the plotline. The main character of the story would lose his best friend to a pack of rabid wolves, after which he would be filled with vengeful thoughts and leave his village, which would lay the foundations for the rest of the story. It was going to be a good one. I could feel it.
But for that to happen, first this girl needed to die.
“Move, she willed herself. But her legs would not listen. Evelyn was frozen in place, her gaze captured by the black wolf’s piercing gaze. She could not run. She could not move. It was as if something had paralyzed her the second she had locked eyes with the leader, and it would not let her go. Evelyn was forced to watch helplessly as the pack closed in, fangs bared. She could already see the white of their eyes-“
No, that wasn’t quite it. It needed to be scarier, the feeling of dread was missing. I grit my teeth in frustration. This always happened when I tried to write a chapter involving Evelyn- the character just would not come out the way I wanted it to.
I’d needed Evelyn to have a meek, somewhat naïve personality, as that was what the story required. But the Evelyn that had appeared in my head was not like that at all. A different personality had formed instead, and I had trouble writing her in. The Evelyn in my thoughts was headstrong, stubborn. It just didn’t fit. It was frustrating.
“Ugh, just have a good death scene, already,” I huffed out, annoyance running through my voice. My hand traveled away from the notebook, towards the eraser that was lying on the edge of the table. I grabbed it and brought it back to the paper, ready to erase the last paragraph
A yelp escaped from my mouth as the eraser rolled out of my hand, onto the floor. The notebook had changed. There was red text all over the last paragraph. Written right on top of it. Red text that was definitely not in my handwriting. And I was the only one in the room. Absolutely no-one could have written that red text just now, and yet, there it was.
I don’t think so, Michelle.
As I looked at my notebook, dumbfounded, more letters started to appear. They seemed to be writing themselves, right underneath the line that had carved itself straight through the last paragraph.
‘Forced to watch helplessly’? Seriously? Hell, no. I don’t feel like dying yet. Do you really think I’ll just let it happen?
“No way,” I mumbled. “Evelyn?”
Of course it is Evelyn. Do you know of any other characters that you’re about to throw before a bunch of rabid wolves?
This was impossible. There was no way that what I saw in front of me, those red letters on the notebook, were real. There was just no way. It had to be a dream, an illusion. Yes, that’s exactly what it was. An illusion. Not real. And because it was not real anyway, I couldn’t begin to explain it. So instead, I focused on the message it contained. Evelyn’s death.
“It’s necessary for the storyline,” I huffed angrily.
No, it’s not. You just want me out of the story, because I bother you.
This was not real. So why would I have to bother myself with it? I grabbed hold of my pen, stubbornly deciding to start on the next paragraph. This scene was going to happen, whether she liked it or not. But as soon as I’d written out a word, it vanished, as if it had never been there to begin with. My jaw tightened as anger rose to the surface.
A single word. No.
“I’m the writer here, not you. You’re not even the main character, so stop complaining!”
Indeed I am not. And so what? That does not mean I’m not real.
The words were scribbled down hastily, the neat handwriting slowly bending out of shape as… whatever was writing that… hastened its pace in order to match my talking speed. As I read it, a slight frown appeared on my face. That made no sense. What did she mean?
“Of course you’re not real. I created you. All of you.”
Now I was angry and confused at the same time. I tried writing my paragraph again, but the notebook wouldn’t let me. More red text appeared.
Is that really what you think?
“Of course it is,’ I huffed. “I made you up, complete with looks and personality, for story purposes. Just like I did with everyone else. And when I’m done writing you, I’ll think up the next one.”
Oh, please. You writers give yourselves too much credit.
But before I could open my mouth to protest, more words started to appear on the notebook page. It was getting pretty full as it was.
Be honest, now. Has a character ever just appeared in your mind? When you needed a certain role, and they fit it perfectly? Or have you ever tried to mold a character in your thoughts, but somehow you couldn’t, and they came out on paper with a completely different personality? Has someone ever just appeared, without them needing any creative input from you?
“Yeah, they have,” I admitted reluctantly.
Good. Now have you ever considered the possibility that they never came from you in the first place?
“What do you mean?”
I waited for an answer. But nothing happened. After a few seconds I realized why; the page was full. Quickly, I flipped to the next one. It worked. New words started to appear rapidly.
You writers don’t create us, darling. We come to you. If your story attracts us, we will lend ourselves to it. And when it is finished, we will move on to the next one. That is what I meant when I said that you writers give yourselves too much credit. You are proud of yourselves when you’ve written a strong and original personality to go with your story, when in fact it is the other way around. The potential of your story draws in the characters. Nothing more, nothing less.
“And that’s… you?” I asked. None of this was making any sense. None at all, but… looking at the words as they were written, thinking of their meaning, made something tingle in the back of my head. This… had happened before. Not just with Evelyn’s personality. Many characters across many stories, that, after a burst of inspiration or a strange dream, had just suddenly been there. I’d never doubted it, but… in hindsight…
Indeed. I came to you because your story interests me, Michelle. It has barely begun, but it has potential. And I will not allow you to write me out of it this early on.
“That’s not up to you,” I growled. Time for a third try. I pressed my pen against the notebook’s paper again, but just like last time, words vanished almost faster than I could write them.
That did it.
“Fine, Fine!” I yelled, throwing my hands up in desperation. “Have it your way! I’ll let your character live, if it’s so bloody important to you. Are you happy now? Can I write further already?”
Be my guest. As long as you don’t write me out.
“Yeah, yeah. Fine. And what do you propose I do about the vicious pack of wolves that is about to swallow you whole? That’s a minor problem now, if I can’t let them kill you!”
Oh, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. That is the writer’s job, after all. Good luck.
I let out an angry grunt, burying my face in my hands. Great, that was just what I needed. The story’s characters voicing their opinion on what I did with them. And I had just wasted two entire pages arguing with one. Just great. The least she could do was to clean up her own mess.
“Hey, at least get rid of the-“
But the reams of red text were already gone. The pages in front of me were blank, as if nothing had ever happened. Not a trace of red remained.
Had I just… imagined it all?
No, that couldn’t be. I flipped the page back, looking for the start of the conversation. But that side, too, was blank, save for the two new paragraphs that I had written myself. There was nothing that indicated a conversation in red had just taken place.
Maybe it was time to start doubting my own sanity.
I grabbed hold of the pen. Whatever had happened in the last five minutes, it had given me the inspiration I needed. In fact, a new idea had come to me. It was much better than the last one. Only a few alterations had to be made. With a confident nod, I started to write.
It was time to finish this chapter.
Have you guys ever had a similar experience? How do you see the characters in your stories?