I have never understood the idea that characters start doing things that the author doesn’t expect. I’ve heard this from many writers and I have to wonder how it happens.
My characters don’t do this. I’ve kind of been waiting for it to happen. I’ve even invited it. “Come on Danny. Come on Breyona. Help me out here. Do something interesting!” But they just sit there, patiently leaning on the cursor, waiting for me to proceed.
During long stretches of me thinking (and not typing or dictating), they sit down and rest, look around at the scenery, maybe scratch an itch. Once I stopped in the middle of a line of dialogue so long Danny forgot what point he was trying to make and gave up.
My characters are not impressed with my writing. More recently they’ve showed a little more enthusiasm. I heard Breyona whisper to Danny (not too quietly) that she was glad I finally noticed this big issue she had and was doing something about it. Danny was happy too. “I know. I hope it means I get to kiss you.” Breyona just rolled her eyes. “I hope I want to kiss you. Cause right now, I don’t.”
I resent my characters for saying this where I could hear it, but I don’t think they noticed. So I wrote: Danny pulled a dagger out of his ear and thrust it into his left eye.
He just shook his head. “Whatever.”
I deleted it, but I had to force myself.
And then there’s the ending of the story. Danny was all like, “Wow, that was way easier than I thought I would be.” The last laugh will be mine, though. The ending is about to get a lot more difficult for him. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to enjoy it.