I might phrase this post wrong. Forgive me, for English is not my first language.

I don't know how else to describe it. But why do it felt like my very own character that I made felt very different from this particular scene or interactions.

I could be writing it and go "this isn't very canon of them/this isn't how they should react/do"

Can someone explain or help?

3 Answers 3


When the character does something that falls outside of what you've planned or what they've done before it's in most cases a sign that the story/character is telling your things should change.

Or, to use psychological language, it's not the character that's acting or the story that's talking, of course. It's likely your unconscious. It has, as it tends to do, picked up some hints that something in the story doesn't work, can be improved, or should be done differently from what you've planned.

In most cases, it's a good thing. However, sometimes it can also be due to tiredness, fear (e.g. doing comedy where there should be dark drama), or just plain old procrastination.

The main thing to remember is that your first draft is a first draft, meaning it's a suggestion of what the final book might become.

The good thing is, you don't have to make all decisions now, just keep writing, if you go completely wrong and have to backtrack put the new material in a separate document for later review and give it another try.

But if you can keep going, do that. You will be surprised by what you think of the story once you've finished it as compared to what you think of it now.

Just keep going. Postpone all "bug fixing" to editing.


If your characters start acting "on their own", you should just follow them and write down what they do. It means they have come alive and are acting as independent characters, instead of just serving your plot.

You probably have to do a lot of rewriting to make it fit with the rest of the story. This could mean a total rewrite from the start, or you may need to add a scene that explains why the character is acting differently.

Anyway, congratulations. Self-writing characters is usually what you want to happen.


Why is your character doing something "out of character" for him? Is his character more complex than previously revealed in the story? Did he act in panic? Was he intoxicated? Depressed?

Humans are complex and often have exceptions to the things they "never do" or "always say". If your fictitious characters have some of those exceptions it makes them more believably -- as long as the exceptions are believable.

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