Characters Driving You Crazy? Write Them a Letter.

There comes a time in the development of a character when you feel like they’ve taken on their own life. They’re no longer somebody you’ve invented – they’re an entirely separate person. You feel like you could actually meet them one day, sit down, and have a conversation with them.

When characters get their “own lives,” that sometimes means they may not want to cooperate with the plot of your story. They’ve got their own grandiose ideas about where they should go and what they should do in your invented universe. When that happens, remember that you’re the author. You’re essentially God. You can get them back in line.

So write them a letter (because you can’t physically slap them or kick them back into place)!

Dear Ally,

You pushed your way into the main plot of the story because you were probably sick of standing on the sidelines cheering everybody else on. That’s perfectly understandable. So you put on your antagonist mask. That’s something I really don’t understand. It doesn’t suit you. In my vision of you, you were the ditzy girl who was just a little too ditzy to be a full-blown antagonist.

Put your curling iron and your makeup kit down and listen to me. You aren’t meant to be the antagonist. I had a plan for you and I’m warning you – if you keep disobeying me, you’ll end up dead. I know you’ve seen plenty of movies where the antagonist ends up dead. I had a beautiful vision for your character arc. You shed your ditzy persona. You put away your nail polish and hair spray. You changed for the better.

So listen to me, and maybe we can make this work out.

Your very manipulative author,


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