A Guide To Rebellious Characters, As Illustrated by Tangled GIFs

9:29 AM


One of the hardest things to explain to non-writers, and also one of the things you see us authors complaining about most, is the concept that we're not always in control of our characters. And yes, that is hard to explain! "Well, um, you see, there's these people in my head, but, um, I'm not always in control of what they say or do. Sometimes they change their minds as I'm writing, and I don't know what they're doing anymore. And then they start messing up my plot." 

Sounds confusing when you put it like that, right?

This might not be true for everyone but it's definitely true for me. I have a really hard time with my characters at times, especially the rebellious ones who decide they don't want anything to do with me or the plot I've cooked up. *sighs* So, without further ado, I've put together a short guide on managing those rebellious characters of yours, illustrated by Tangled GIFs. Because who doesn't love Tangled?

1. So there's that one character, right? 



They're adorable and fluffy and practically perfect in every way and you do love them so. But

2. They just don't listen. 


It's like they're mocking you, having fun while your plot goes to pieces. 

3. And then sometimes they'll hit you with a surprise bit of information that you didn't know before and, of course, usually changes everything

I DIDN'T KNOW, THANKS FOR NOTHING.

4. It's hard to be angry with them, but really, they keep messing up your plot. 


Can't they just behave for once? 

5. You have to at least try to manage them, right? 


Balancing all those issues so everything works out great and isn't cheesy and isn't out of character or plot is hard, man. 

6. Sometimes you have to put your authorly foot down. 

BEHAVE OR DIE. 

7. BUT THEY KEEP GETTING IDEAS. 


8. And...they are really cute and perfect.... 

STOP BEING ADORABLE. I WILL NOT FALL FOR YOUR PLANS. 

9. And maybe they're right after all... 


That did work out surprisingly well. 

10. Surely it can't hurt to let them have their way...just this once.... 

It was probably a mistake, but oh well. 

After all, I'll get them back under control soon. 




(I've also blogged about My Novel Writing Process and My Revision Process in this GIF-step style. You should check those out too.)

14 comments

  1. Haha, this was great, and I loved your My Novel Writing Process and My Revision Process posts, too! I have a couple of my own rebellious characters and while they can often be a pain, just like you said, they can also end up to do things that turn out to be good for the story.

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    1. Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing this one, as well as the others. And I definitely agree, a lot of the time it's for the best in the end - just a little disorienting at first!

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  2. I so know this feeling! But, you know what, most of the time, my characters are right. Apart from, you know, when they suddenly gain backstory and start stealing the main character's screentime, and you want to tell them no, but you love them too much...and they somehow end up becoming part of the main cast...please tell me that it isn't only me who loses control of her characters that badly...

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    1. Yeah, that's usually how it goes...they have to go and prove you wrong. *sigh* And YES, that happens to me all the time.

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  3. This is perfect! I feel the same way about my characters. "Can you please stay to the plot?" Though I have learned so much from my characters (they hide things from me) :))

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    1. Yessss. They're always hiding things, those sneaky little people. :P

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  4. This is really funny. xD I'm not sure what my characters do, really - it FEELS like they listen to me - but maybe they're just deceiving me.
    I tagged you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award over here: http://writerandproud.blogspot.com/2015/01/sisterhood-of-world-bloggers-award.html

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    1. Characters are deceptive, aren't they? But it's always nice when they play along, at least somewhat.
      Thanks so much! This looks really neat and I'll definitely get to it as soon as possible. :D

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  5. Yes! This describes my characters very, very well. They really enjoy to drag my story to random places it was never meant to go, typically once I'm 3/4ths of the way into the novel. The Tangled gifs describe my reactions wonderfully!

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  6. I love Tangled, I love incorrigible characters, I love this post... The list goes on and on. Usually characters like this don't happen to me, but I still love the idea and I think you do a really good job of pointing out the situation and using a GIF to illustrate it. Awesome job!

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    1. Thanks for reading! I had a ton of fun writing it, and Tangled gifs seemed appropriate :)

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  7. Yes yes YESSSS 10000x yes!! I adored this terribly-accurate post. Those silly characters and all they put us through whilst giving us the most adorable puppy dog eyes- gosh!

    Chloe | Curious Ramblings

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    1. Yessss. You just can't resist the puppy eyes -.-

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