I’ve Had It Wrong The Entire Time! #AmWriting

I’m still on my LaTonya kick this week. Only now, I have inspiration!

LaTonya’s been the toughest character for me to figure out. I thought I knew her, but it turns out I had it wrong.

Who wouldn’t want to bond with Naomi?

Okay, I didn’t have it totally wrong. Everything in my old post is still applicable. But I kept pushing her to be a woman bent on revenge–cold, distant, filled to the brim with hate for the monster that killed her guardians there was no room for anything else.

Except she refused to comply! Stubborn woman. She kept wanting to bond with Naomi or cry on MaTisha’s shoulder or get chatty with Liz. She wanted to be part of the other characters’ lives… and that’s not the behavior of a revenge-obsessed, consumed-by-rage person. (I know this because a former therapist gave me a list of traits of such a person. Thank you, Jeanne!)

That’s when I realized something. LaTonya is passionate, not cold. She is fighting for a cause. She isn’t bent on revenge; she’s an activist! She wants to rally people to her side to give her more power to put an end to that miserable monster. She might do some unscrupulous stuff from time to time, but it’s for the greater good!

And gosh darn it, am I excited! I’m reworking her earlier scenes to reflect the differences. They might be minor, but it changes the big picture. And it is invigorating!

Have you ever come to a realization about a character? Have you had issues with characters not behaving like how you envisioned them? What did you end up doing about it?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

22 thoughts on “I’ve Had It Wrong The Entire Time! #AmWriting

  1. I think characters are always more complicated than we initially thought they were. Sometimes it’s just better to listen to them and go with it.

  2. Woo hoo!! Reminds me of the Jewel song- fight for what’s right, not out of spite. (That’s a huge paraphrase!)

  3. I tend to just write my characters as they are revealed to me. I guess there is a parallel to imagined characters and real people–the more you get to know them, the more or less you start to like them.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. Yes, I have had bad guys become good guys. And sidekicks become the main character. They were some of my best in the end.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  5. How awesome you’ve figured it out! I like the idea of passionate rather than psychotic. Heh. Characters sometimes throw me for a loop. They reveal other sides and I have to step back and take a look at the big picture again.

  6. Don’t you love those aha moments? Nothing better. I have to laugh when my characters get angry at me for trying to write them into the wrong situations or reactions. They know best, eh?

  7. Glad you figured it out.
    I’ve had a minor character who would’ve been just a miscellaneous bad guy become a full secondary character with backstory and a major role.

  8. I’ve definitely had those revelatory moments, but I’m drawing a blank to a specific one at the moment. But i know the feeling, that “a ha!” when everything clicks into place. I’m glad it worked for you! It makes the next scenes so much easier.

  9. Haha! Why yes! Dialogue tends to do that to me. I have the actions planned out then boom! The mouth reveals something different. Have fun with her changes 🙂

  10. I’m so glad you’re excited about this realization!

    I love those moments when I realize something new about a character. It’s always like, “Wow! That explains so much!”

    And my characters never behave how I’d like them to. But I just go with it, which usually works out for the best.

  11. I love how she’s evolving for you. I had to rework a character’s emotions because I left so much of it out. It was like, oh yeah, I just shot a guy but I’m doing just fine. 😉

    Elsie Amata

  12. Congrats! And yes, the lead in my witch book was all wrong until half way through when it finally sunk in that she was written all wrong. :/

  13. This is awesome! Just reading about the character made me excited for you. Yay!!
    And I would want to bond with Naomi too. 🙂

  14. Yay! I can’t wait to see her again!

    And as for me, I’ve given up trying to get them to behave and just roll with it.

  15. My characters are always doing things I didn’t originally envision them doing. It’s frustrating and fun to be dragged along for the ride.

  16. I love how your character is telling you who she is. She’s probably much happier that you heard her and are reworking things to suit her better.

  17. There’s nothing like having to go back through your story and make changes based on a new direction you’ve chosen for the story. Seems like I end up doing that every couple of months. 🙁

    Hope your rewrites don’t take too long.

  18. Breakthroughs like this one always feel soooo good! Good luck with your rewrites. I’m glad you figured it out.

  19. Ooh! I love it!

    I’ve definitely had some of my characters way wrong, so it’s always amazing when they set the record straight.

  20. It’s cool when a character reveals itself to you like that. I like who this character is going to be.

  21. Ha! “Have you had issues with characters not behaving like how you envisioned them?” Always. I just let them do their thing. But I like your method much better.

  22. I’m so glad you let her fulfill her destiny. My characters never listen to me. I tend to let them do what they want–it always works out for the best.

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