On Unexpected Fluff

One of the fun – though sometimes awkward – parts about writing is having the characters surprise you. I’ll be going along, have the plot, the setting, the characters worked out, I’m pretty sure I know exactly what’s going to happen next-

And then the character says, “Nope. Uh-uh. Not doing X. I’m doing Y instead.”

…Which usually ends up setting the course of events glancing off at an angle from what I’d originally intended. One of the most drastic single instances I’ve stumbled into of that in my writing was in Desert Fox (Gargoyles and Airwolf fanfic). There was a point at which I’d thought some bad guys would be taken alive. That… did not happen.

Mind, it didn’t affect the rest of the planned events in the storyline that much. But more important, it fit the character.

I find I’m willing to rewrite event-chains as much as I have to, in order to present consistent characters.

There’s one big reason for this. In my experience, people don’t change much. They may change some of their habits, they may reexamine their reasons for behaving a certain way and work to be better – or worse – but at their core? A personality simply does not change. Not without drastic measures.

So, in the interests of making my stories as plausible as possible, written in such a way as to get the reader to suspend disbelief… events are flexible. A person’s character, not so much.

Thankfully, this does not always result in story violence! Fluff can be just as much of an unexpected result. If a startling one.

Currently in Whispers, I ended up putting three characters who are decidedly not fluffy into close proximity. One might expect mayhem. Blood, painting the walls.

…Only the thing is, those three characters’ flavors of crazy, plus their individual goals for Balbadd, end up kind of… complementing each other. In a very odd way.

And there was fluff.

Bear in mind I’m still in the middle of writing that part, so I’m not exactly sure how it will turn out. But so far – so far, mind you – having these three who never met in canon run into each other might be sanity-saving for all of them.

…Well. Mostly sanity-saving. I think Alibaba may want to invest in antacids.

 

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22 thoughts on “On Unexpected Fluff

  1. It sounds like the moment that the characters come to life, which is both exhilarating and can be crazy frustrating. Especially when you do have to change the story or that one guy decides that no, he’s not going to do the easy thing you need to get done…

    Still, the world needs more fluff. Glad it’s coming out.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. …why do I have the strangest suspicion that the three characters are Judar, Cassim, and Sabhmad? Though admittedly, Barkakk is a viable option for #3 as well.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Characters that are willing to speak to their writer is of the good. Because sometimes the action you thought made sense when you first wrote in your notes doesn’t when you take another look at after the character says “No. I’m doing this.”

    Especially when this leads your story into new and interesting territory.

    Sometimes that territory is fluff.

    Re: Sanity-saving

    At least if they are all still crazy – and since one of them is a Magi and at least one of the other two is going to be a King if said Magi gets his way so crazy is inevitable. Hopefully we can get them to the good kind of crazy.

    The bunnies are currently leaning toward one of three Rens for the third member of the Crazy Trio.

    Kyougyoku since she is already in the story. And we need to have her and Cassim spend some time together if that pairing is even going to be a possibility. On the other, she doesn’t seem to have any more crazy than is usual for a King Candidate. Especially one who Judar likes in his own fashion.

    They predict Hakuryuu for person three simply because that seems like the most like a potential world-ending disaster and that’s what you made the Crazy Trio sound like. And since Judar already likes him.

    Through for blood painting the walls image, they find it hard to let go of Kouha. Through for being on the bloodier end of Blood Knight, he’s pretty well-adjusted. Through given proposed pairings in this story or at least this ‘verse, that might get awkward.

    Of course, it could be a third character who has managed to hide themselves in plain view that will make the bunnies go “oooh!” when it happens.

    I think Alibaba may want to invest in antacids.

    Let’s face it, he was probably going to take to invest in those anyway.

    If for no other reason than because Sinbad.

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    1. Alibaba figures investing in antacids because Sinbad is one way to make a profit? šŸ˜‰

      And heck, I figure the next best thing to being able to fix your broken places (and not all of us can) is finding people who understand why you’re cranky. šŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. >>I find Iā€™m willing to rewrite event-chains as much as I have to, in order to present consistent characters.

    And this is a major reason I love your writing. Because you recognize that if a plotline needs a character to act uncharacteristically, then it’s probably a bad plotline anyway.

    Oh, no. Now I have the idea of Sinbad as a novelist. “It wasn’t all that good of a plotline anyway.”
    Ja’far, as editor: “You now have to rewrite a *hundred pages*.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to agree with Lightwhispers. I really really hate books where the author jerks a character around in order to drive a plot. You get this dissonance where character A is supposed to be deeply in love with B but blows up at B out of the blue because the author needs to interject some conflict. They become “something happens to them” people and I stop caring.

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    2. Sinbad: *Grins, blows off fingers, heads for keyboard. Pauses.* “Of course, I’m going to need someone one to help me block out the new fight scenes… it could be brutal.”

      Ja’far, drawing rope-darts: “Oh, I’ll make sure it is….”

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      1. Re: Writing

        We were talking about a novel in this example but I imagine that how some of any screenwriting Simon has penned before and will pen for their “Let’s Get People Used To Magic” projects.

        And there probably should be a outline he can show people for new Fire Prince film. And he’s got all these neat ideas for more Sinbad stuff – and more stuff that can adapted into non-Sinbad stories but still chocked full of all the good stuff . . . so much fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You know i was and am a salesman one of the best things you can do for a sale is increase anticipation. You have me mentally salivating. The actual drool accumulating is due to actual appetite and being at a resteraunt I assure you.

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