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.