Every time I take the Myers-Briggs test – and I have taken it way too many times – the result is the same: INFJ. That “N” stands for intuitive. According to the dictionary, if you are intuitive you have a keen and quick insight and blessed with immediate knowledge or belief. Humph!
Really? Let’s look to the evidence. I’ve written five novels, several are drawer novels used more to learn my craft than to publish. However, one thing has come out as a standard in all my adult mysteries. Whoever my main character is when I begin, about half way in, they aren’t. So much for that “quick” or “immediate” part. Always, a minor character highjacks my stories. They come thundering in like raging bull and run away with the novel. Which means I have to turn around and rewrite with the new main character.
It wasn’t going to happen to my thesis project in grad school. My main character was strong, AND it was his story. No one else could tell his story. FF to third semester of grad school. Letter from professor. This new character is alive and vital. He’s running off with the book. Must rethink who should tell Sam’s story. Flibbertigibbet.
Really? Is it just me that this happens to? My first novel began with a main character who was female and wound up with a man. She was a young school teacher; he was an aging cop. How?
Characters happen. We open doors and they walk in.
Have characters surprised you this way?