Grafitti seen on a wall. "I like gorls." Someone saw it, crossed it out and wrote, "I like girls". Another came along and wrote, "What about gorls? They want to be liked too."
I guess we've all felt like the odd one out at times. And after writing several novels, I've discovered that my heroes and heroines often feel this way. Maybe that works well in a story by adding some inner conflict and perhaps some argumentative dialogue.
Authors study their protagonists as they need to know how they'll react in given situations. Writers who plan ahead with a plot structure laid out know this before they write. Others, known as "seat-of-the-pantsers" -of whom I am one- tend to discover how their main characters react while they're writing. Yes, characters can take on a will of their own and the novelist soon finds he or she is not true to the way their leading lady/man would perform. And they buck or sulk, depending on who they are. I can't tell you how many times I've had to revise and rewrite until my characters cooperate! I truly like this, though, as it adds some spice when they don't do the obvious. After all, you want to be surprised when you're reading, otherwise the story would be humdrum.
I'd really like to write about an eccentric who does and says nothing you'd expect, but can you imagine trying to explain that in a book proposal to a skeptical publisher? Maybe Dickens wrote his share of strange folk, but I wonder how it would go down today? Anyone read anything lately about an odd character as a main protagonist? Ooh yes, mythic, heroic, strong, virile...yet odd. Hmm, that's food for thought.
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