When characters change their minds

I have spent so much time with my characters, both in and out of their stories. They are with me when I write, remind me of their presence when something in my life reminds me of themselves, and reveal their unique nuances when I am still and quiet.

Such was the case one cold, winter eve when a lead character changed his mind, thus forever altering the course of the story.

I had to listen, had to re-examine the entire storyboard from start to finish. If this were true, his own arc and trajectory would reshape. The characters closest to him would equally be affected, albeit in different ways. The story would change.

And that was my biggest fear.

What if my character was just being finicky, indecisive? What if he was reacting to something I wrote, and in time, would agree with my choices and fall back in step with his initial actions and decisions? How would I be able to test his authenticity?

Like so many writers I knew, I was on a course to completion. I had a goal in mind, a time line, and didn’t want to disappoint any potential readers with an unnecessary delay. I spent time simply listening, and observed my character to ensure what he showed me was real. And when I knew with certainty that this was the story, I got to work.

And true to my writing muse, this choice was the right one.

Copyright © 2020 Cara Sands. All rights reserved.

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