When your characters come alive

Sometimes I talk to my characters. Even though I'm  never exactly sure when they evolve to a palpable entity, I can tell you that somewhere along the path of writing, they start communicating with me in their own way.

My subconscious dings me with, "Geez, I'd never say that." Hmmm.  

And then it's time to listen.

This is the point I want to make to other writers. As your fiction work continues day after day, each character you devise will gradually open up to show their uniqueness. They'll evolve from flat, facile individuals into more complicated beings. 

You'll come to feel as if you know their pasts. With some, you won't know their future for certain even though you think it's all in your hands.

Once established, characters have a way of deviating from the path you've chosen for them. They may lead you to a different turn of events, as if their minds and motives aren't entirely ruled by you, but by the personalities you sprouted.
You'll come to recognize the facial expressions of your characters: the grimaces, the smiles, the lines and folds of skin. What are they smelling in the setting you created? What do they see around them? Why are they pulling you in this direction when you so plainly wanted to go in another?
That's when writing can feel like the best thing in the world; when it's exciting.
 

No matter how well you've planned your outline (if you have one) or how well you've scripted the story, your characters may have a different suggestion. And it could turn out that they take you on an adventure you never thought possible.

 

 What's that, Amy? No, of course I'm not ignoring you. Okay, let's talk about it.