Several months ago I was reading an interview with Maria V. Snyder (I can’t remember where I read it). In the interview, she shared that originally she had intended Yelena, the Heroine of the Study Series, to have a relationship with the Commander, not Valek. But in the course of writing, she realized this wasn’t meant to be.

Characters have a mind of their own in matters of love

In my current WIP, I set out with a lovely outline detailing how my MC would come to love the intended love interest. But as I’ve been writing, there’s been a complete lack of chemistry. Zero emotion. They don’t hate each other, but they don’t like each other either. They are completely indifferent. So how am I supposed to make them like each other, let alone love each other?

As it turns out, my MC made up her own mind and, out of nowhere, I suddenly realized that sexual chemistry had been building between her and a minor character, and I realized that he really isn’t a minor character but rather the obvious love interest and ideal hero. And in realizing this, everything fell together. Several of the plot holes, the way to create a romance that an audience will like, everything finally made sense.

Without even realizing it, I’ve already written several scenes full of sexual tension. And the new love interest is extremely likeable. I’d go as far as to say that he’s lovable. And I’ve already built in conflict for the relationship, reasons why he shouldn’t fall for my MC and reasons why she should definitely not be falling for him. It really couldn’t have worked out better if I had sat down and written an outline. Oh wait, I did that and my outline love story flopped.

Let your characters run wild

I know people talk about this a lot, but sometimes, your characters do unexpected things. They may be fictional, but in our subconscious, we know what will work, and this comes out through our characters doing something we, the writers, did not foresee. And you know what, it’s actually kind of exciting when this happens. It makes the story feel more dynamic, more real. And personally, I’m a big fan of letting my characters run wild.

Do your characters do things you don’t expect? Do you give them free reign? Or do you make them conform to what you planned for them all along?

Want to read more about creating a romantic relationship? Check out this post from Dark Angel’s Blog, The Essence of Attraction.