Wow, characters can be a stubborn bunch at times, especially, the strong willed, know their own mind types. I have that exact type in my protagonist, Teddie Leason, and she won’t do a thing I say. (Parents will understand the feeling.) I had a rough idea where I would have liked the narrative of EVO Shift to go, and that would have required Teddie to make certain choices, that quite frankly, she was never going to make.
In book two she has numerous choices to make, but her motivations shift. It would be great if she made all the ‘I must save the world’ decisions, but I can’t force that on her. That isn’t her personality type. Teddie is stubborn, fiercely loyal, and desperate for family. When her boyfriend and friends are held in an EVO detention centre, her sole focus is their safety. ‘Sod the rest of the world. They are her world.’ This is where I started to struggle with progressing the narrative, mostly due to my own self-doubt.
I asked Mr.O his non-writer, but avid reader opinion on characters that make ‘bad’ decisions and he reiterated what I already knew, but in such a way that I instantly felt the doubt lift.
‘It’s not about bad choices and good choices or bad people and good people. They’re just people, so let them be who they are.’
I had to throw off my previous narrative ideas, and get back to being the pantser that I am. Teddie is the boss of the show… I mean, who do I think I am? I’m just the writer. I’m going to let her tell me how it is going to be from here on out, and allow her to make her own mistakes as long as I understand the motivation behind them.