I’ve often thought I was a bit weird (no, scratch that – I am a bit weird, but recently I’ve discovered I’m not alone in this weirdness) when it comes to writing.
After talking to other fiction writers, I’ve learned that it seems to be a thing that we all share some of these weird attributes.
Here are five things that all fiction writers will understand, but will usually cause other people to raise an eyebrow!
Talking About Characters Like They Are Real People
I am definitely guilty of this. I think after spending so long writing about our characters, they do become real to us. Where it gets weird, is I now do it about other people’s characters too.
Whenever I watch a TV show or read a book that I get really into, it irritates me so much when a character does something completely out of character for no reason other than it made the plot simpler to introduce or move forward.
I regularly say things such as “XYZ would never do that because of this, this and this.”
Yes, people tend to look at me like I’m crazy. No, I don’t care.
Accepting That Characters Sometimes Do Things We Hadn’t Planned
Before I started writing, I admit I would have found this one crazy myself.
They’re our characters, just figments of our imagination. How can we not control them?
It’s a good question, and one I can’t answer, but I guarantee if you write a novel length piece of fiction, at some point along the way, a character will say or do something that surprises you (and it’s often something that adds something to the novel that makes it better).
Knowing Your Characters Better Than You Know Your Friends/Partner
Recently, I found a quiz on Buzzfeed that was meant to tell you how well you know your best friend. It was a huge list of things and you had to tick off each one you could answer about your friend. It then gave a little spiel about whether or not they were truly your best friend.
I don’t normally do these quizzes, but it seemed like fun (it was around 4.30am – I blame sleep deprivation). I think I scored about half, but as I went through the list, it struck me that the questions were fab ones to see how well rounded a character is.
I completed it again for the main character in the novel I’m currently working on, and I found I could easily answer each one.
Not Caring That Your “Eureka” Moment Means A Whole Lot More Work
There will come a point in any novel where everything comes together and you have that eureka moment. It’s the point where those loose threads that you weren’t quite sure what to do with all tie themselves up in a neat little bow.
This moment usually comes about three quarters of the way through your first draft, and it’s never how you thought the novel would wrap itself up, no matter how in depth your outline was.
It basically means you have to re-write everything you’ve written up to that point to add in the extra threads and keep the story moving in the right direction.
But because it feels so good knowing that the story has evolved and become so much better than you hoped for, you don’t care about the weeks of extra work.
Hating Yourself for Killing Off A Favourite Character – And Doing it Anyway
As you write about these characters, they become a part of you, and killing one off, especially one of the “good guys” is hard.
It’s easy to think “no, I’m going to do this instead” but you don’t, because you know it won’t have the same impact.
So you kill them off, hating yourself as you write the scene (I’ve even heard of some writers who cry as they kill off their characters although I’ve never been that bad, but then I’m not really a crier).
Yes, we’re a weird bunch, but it’s hard not to become emotionally invested in writing.
Do you write fiction? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Let me know in the comments 🙂