From Villain to Victim to?

Before finding an awesomely evil villain, my original villain just wouldn’t play along. If anything, he seemed to become the victim rather than the villain. When I attended a writing workshop, I was amazed with how much people identified with him. Inadvertently, I had given him high stakes if he failed, and people felt his situation was unjust . This caused them to root for him. He broke out. He was, honestly, a throwaway character, but has now taken on a major role in this manuscript. What happens next? I can’t tell until the manuscript’s done–there always seems to be one final twist that I don’t see coming before the final revisions!

I panicked this week when another minor throwaway character began coming up time and time again. One that I have no idea why he keeps popping up…until today. What’s happened to him turns out to be part of a major plot point. At least Bob as I am jokingly calling him right now, is not clamoring for the spotlight. What a relief! How is it that some characters take on lives of their owns? Sometimes they even manage to become larger than life. It’s maddening and wonderful! And this is why I keep writing—even as the writer, who’s theoretically in control, I find myself holding my breath in suspense of “what comes next?”

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