When Characters Make Their Own Rules

Good Characters Take Over

My favorite thing about getting to know a character is how, after a while, they truly start to make their own rules.  You can’t hold them back from what they want to do.  It is kind of like having a child in some ways.  I don’t have any children, but I always assume what happens is that they go and do whatever it is that they want.

That is kind of how my characters are.  When they finally get a move with what they are understanding, the situation they are in, they start to me their own actions regardless of me.  Sounds crazy?  Maybe it is, but I also think it adds to surprise plot in stories that keep us all turning the page.  What is going to happen next?  What makes a story good?  What kind of decisions does the main character need to make?  But most importantly, is anyone going to care what decisions the character will make?

Becoming Perceptive to Human Nature

For me, writing is a way to synthesize the information coming at me everyday.  Without the ability to put words onto a screen or write a blog post, I don’t know what I would do. 

I love it when people do things for no reason at all.  With that, I mean, I love it when people want to go climb a mountain for the sake of doing it, or run a marathon for the sake of accomplishment.  When people are driven into spiritual quests, they learn things about themselves, whether they are good or bad.  The point of the journey isn’t about winning, it is about learning who you are, and what that means to everyone else in the world.

I also find it interesting when true evil exists in the world.  This isn’t something many like to discuss, but we all know it is out there.  There are heinous humans out there who commit horrible crimes everyday.  We like to push them to the skirts of society, or talk down to them, because we do not want to understand them.  Not all evil people are sociopaths like Hannibal the Cannibal from Silence of the Lambs, and this an important factor to take in when you are creating the “dark side” of your story.  What is the true evil that you see in your everyday life?  How would you change it?  What is something you could do, in a fictional sense, to combat this evil?

The Point of Story

Joesph Campbell wrote the book The Power of Myth where he overviews many different cultures and what the concept of story means.  For many of us, story telling is a way to help us create our own solutions.  A recent study about the human brain indicated the ability for the mind to make connections is what is truly important for forms of intelligence and survival.  Given this two concepts, story is our main method to learn how to survive in a world of danger.

Spiritual survival is not one that is strongly discussed in our culture.  We may bring up when people experience someone else’s “spirit dying”, but many think of this a metaphorical thing than a real thing.  However, I do believe there is a sickness and disease among the human spirit.  Currently, 1 in 10 people take antidepressants in America.  There is a spiritual war going on among us.  I am not against antidepressants, sometimes people flat our just need them.  But how many?  What are the true benefits of antidepressants?  And who truly needs them?

Self Healing Through Writing

When you allow yourself to write, it gives you time and space to think.  Sometimes, I find myself in front of a computer with what I like to call “emotional constipation”, but what others call writer’s block.  This process is what happens when I stare at my computer screen and absolutely nothing comes out.  There is sometimes fear involved that nothing I write will ever be good.  There is sometimes the worry that my thoughts will be too radical, even for myself.  However, when I truly allow myself to have radical thoughts, this is when the brilliance comes out.  Nothing is too radical. 

Find a safe space to express yourself.  Mine happens to be this blog.  Marla Rose Brady is a pen name, but it makes me feel free.  It makes my thoughts and words have more power than anyone I know.  I become the voice I always wanted, and I do not have to worry about what others read, or know that this is me.  I don’t have to think about what family or friends will think of my thoughts.  Besides, I am not talking about any of them, but sometimes our thoughts hit too close to home, and when others read it, they immediately feel attacked.

Find a place where no one will attack your mind.  Your mind needs to be free before your writing becomes free.  When you can find that safe place for yourself, you will make more sense to you, and the troubles and tribulations of the world before will be nothing more than a speck in the physical world.

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