When Characters Grow and Change in Surprising Ways
I love learning about characters and seeing them grow. One of my favorite things is when characters surprise me in ways that make sense. Like when I expect a character to act one way, but their character arc leads them to act differently. This usually happens when I have a rough outline of a story and then actually sit down to write.
I’ve written some bits about a group of friends as they finish up high school and begin college. I really love the interactions between them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of plot or conflict. It’s mainly just friends hanging out. 🙂 Two of the boys were roommates their first year of college and became instant best friends. One was sort of a ringleader while the other was a bit of a goof.
I’ve had a short story idea in my mind for years regarding those two characters. I finally decided to write it. It’s set a couple years after that first year of college. They’ve both been in the army, in different groups, and haven’t seen each other for months. The short story takes place when they meet up again at a POW camp. I had a bare idea of how the plot should go, but I didn’t know much about how their individual characters would act.
What I wrote surprised me. The ringleader had been so broken that he was more of a mindless drone. The goof had grown so serious and vengeful. At first, they’re at odds with each other, but their common enemy helps them put that aside. I love seeing how their friendship rekindles as they face adversity.
The ending surprised me, too. But I don’t want to spoil it for you. 😀