Or at least it seems that way to me. I try to corral them up, and make them sit and behave, but just when I turn my back, someone, (it’s always someone isn’t it?) shows their rear end, and I have to threaten to kill them off.
This third book and it’s cast of characters makes me think we are all suffering from split personalities.
My protagonist, sweet girl that she is, keeps running and hiding in corners, locking herself up in her house, and well, she was in a ditch at one point, until I remembered that study. You know, the one that said something along the lines of, NOBODY is EVER found in a ditch, ever. (So your mother saying, “for all I know you could have been in a ditch somewhere…,” Not true. Statistics prove it.) So, I drag her out of the ditch, dust her off, and shove her back on her bike, no broken leg to contend with. She was quite peeved at that sidetrack and since then, she’s still testing me with what she wants to do, and what she doesn’t want to do. Like, you figure it out. Me? I’m sitting here until you do.
Then there’s my antagonist. The psychopath. He keeps wanting to wax poetic on me. He’s a pretty observant dude for someone so pissed at the world and barely a shred of feeling. And he keeps upping his badness, like he’s afraid he’s not bad enough. And he spends time dragging me down further into his sickness until I’m questioning my own mental state. Like, where in the hell did that come from? I swear I’ve heard him laughing.
And there’s the parents…is Dad a total loser or a careful man, someone who doesn’t take risks and has just had a run of bad luck? And what about Mama? Is she feisty, spirited and stubborn, even with a gun in her face, or is she a quivering puddle of nerves and emotion? Tap, tap, tap. That’s them tapping their toes, hands on waists, eyeballing me with disgust.
And the rest… who are currently running amok without any sense of reason, pushing, shoving, screaming their little heads off because their part is currently so small, they’ve barely made amoeba status with their personalities. What about me? What about me? What about me?
Character development is complex because you have to get to know these “people” like you do your own family. And sometimes? They. Just. Don’t. Cooperate. They throw hissy fits, they run away, they play devil’s advocate, they throw you a curve ball and tell you to go to hell while you’re trying to hit it.
Can you say the same about your characters? Are they running wild and driving you crazy?