When I set out to write my first novel,one of my main characters rebelled. I had planned for this character to be and behave a certain way – geeky, fun, and second to the female of the story. I began to write the story, and immediately I felt resistance from this character. Since it was my first novel, I found this amusing, interesting, and thought to myself, “what the heck, it is just one of the characters.” Little did I know, you should never treat a character as “just one of the characters,” and he showed me that.
My character took the lead, presented himself strong, and the total opposite to what I had planned – a hottie, smart, with a soft side and a dangerous side as well. I let him be, and I am glad that I did that. The result was amazing to me, he shaped the story, but did not in any way opaque the main female character.
I could have gone with my original intention and fight this character all the way to the end of the story; however, I was at the perfect stage of experimentation. I learned a lot, and I have to thank in part this character. My point to this post is to let yourself experiment, and don’t be afraid of letting go of a preset order of chapters, characters, and outline. Write with love, enjoy it, have fun.