When Your Characters Face The Unknown

The unknown. What you don’t know about it, is that it can be good for you and your story characters. Just like real life, even the best of plans can go awry with a few wrenches tossed into the mix. You can outline until you are blue, and your characters (and your life) can take a completely different, unexpected turn toward a new beginning, middle and end.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Perhaps. But the reality of facing the unknown is that new opportunities will arise that challenge the hearts, minds and souls of you and your characters. This is where life becomes interesting… and your story, too. If you thought Jim was a great football player, just wait until he tells you in the middle of an all-night writing fest that he has a deviant side. Does Cara dream of going to the best college? Think again when you find her following her heart – and that beautiful boy – to the city college to study a major she’s never heard of.

The known is so vanilla at times. This is why expecting the unexpected can tantalize and tease your characters, drawing them further into their curiosity and opening a new world of exploration. I believe that our lives parallel this thought exactly, and who better to allow the unknown to envelope your characters than you yourself?

Think about it. If safe, outlined writing is your game, then so be it. But if you’re open to new things, chances are good you’ll allow your characters to also follow suit. And that, my friends, adds spice to any story worth telling.


4 thoughts on “When Your Characters Face The Unknown

  1. I guess the more open you are to possibility, the more possibilties there are both in life and in our writing. It is possible to be both focused and at the same time open to the new through observation, exploration, reflection… Maybe a song will bring on some new discovery in a story or a dream, or a walk, or some other experience…keep those shutters open!

  2. Today a friend asked me to write an article for a senior publication and I thought, but I’m 31. What do I know?

    Then, it struck me. A novel I wrote had no senior characters. How boring! All the characters were 14, 25, or 55. I never realized how dull I could be without intention.

    Great advice on fleshing out your characters. There’s so many aspects of people, their whims and motivations. For me, this advice is timely.

    1. It’s flying by the seat of your pants! I’ve become an expert over the years on all topics, simply because I rose to the challenge. Sounds like you’re also doing this!

      – Julie

      P.S. Glad you found the Leave A Comment section. I was beginning to think WordPress was trying to imitate Blogger!

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