Power Struggle Author v Characters – have you lost the plot?

Try telling a non-writing friend that you have no control over your characters.  They look at you as if you’ve lost it – if they know you really well, they’ll tell you so.

‘There’re not real people Julie, you made them up,’ one said recently.  My response was a small self-effacing smile and a fervent hope that no one from my manuscript was listening.

My most unsettling experience to date involved a murder suspect who explained to me in the middle of his confession why he couldn’t have done it.  Necessitated a virtual re-write.

A few weeks ago, I found myself arguing with a victim.  ‘Shut up you’re dead,’ I hissed as I weeded the drive. IMG_6289 Looked round furtively in the hope that no-one was within earshot.

In my first published novel the main character did something at the end of the book for which I still haven’t forgiven her.  In fact I shouted at her as my fingers flew over the keys but it was too late and of course she knew best – it was the perfect twist, albeit a little startling for the reader and indeed the author.


Every author will build a unique relationship with their characters.  I have found a way that works for me.  I encourage them to evolve in my mind and once they have reached a degree of virtual sentience, the characters write their story through their own emotions, words and actions.

Now I’ve accepted the inevitable I just sit back and let them get on with it.  It’s only when they start bickering with each other that things turn nasty.


About jhbooksblog

Hello - I'm Julie Haiselden, an occasional NHS med sec/practice administrator. Mother of three, wife of one, a chaotic cook and published crime/thriller novelist who blogs a bit about books, life and food. School alumna. Occasional am-dram actress/director. I enjoy walking and photography (although my enthusiasm outweighs my skill set). I've recently joined the reviewing team at Whispering Stories and can be found via the following social media sites: http://whisperingstories.com/meet-the-team/ https://twitter.com/juliehaiselden https://www.facebook.com/juliehaiseldenbooks https://www.goodreads.com/ I also accept a few hard copy novels to review.
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One Response to Power Struggle Author v Characters – have you lost the plot?

  1. What a wonderful way of writing! I hate it when I watch a series or read a book (so I’ve invested a large amount of time in these characters) and then they go and do something, not just surprising but completely out of character, like they are just being used to facilitate the plot moving in a certain direction. I think it’s wonderful you stay true to your characters ^_^

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