Ever have character come alive that you never expected? To develop such complete and totally personality, yet you have no story for them? No idea where or how they fit into your world?


This happened to me the other afternoon. DH and I had a couple of hours to ourselves (I know, how did that happen?), and we started discussing the book I’m editing now. This led to us discussing the hero and heroine’s two sons and me wondering if I’d one day write their story. We started talking about the boys, and that led to some interesting insights.


A quick snippet of their conversation:

“At least I didn’t set Mom on fire.”

“I was two years old! Nobody brings up the fact that you pooped on Mom when you were two.”

“Did not. And you were three when you set her on fire.”

“Two, three, whatever. It’s not like I had control of the magic. Not like I meant to do it. And I’ve tried to make-up for it every mother’s day since. But no matter what I get her, Dad still gives me this look like, ‘That’s it? That’s all you could get your mother after setting her on fire?’ I could get her a solid diamond horse and carriage, a fleet of solid diamond horse and carriages, and it still wouldn’t be enough.”

“You did set her on fire. And a solid diamond horse and carriage wouldn’t exactly move.”

Dylan glared at his brother. “I tracked down three golden unicorns, captured them, brought them back here and taught them to dance for Mom. Dad still gave me the look because it wasn’t all five. But the other two were so freakin’ fast.”

“Should move faster.”

“You fast enough to outrun a fireball?” A glowing ball appeared in Dylan’s hand.

Lucas grinned. “Whatcha gonna get me for my birthday if you set me on fire? The last two golden unicorns?”

“Go to hell.”

“Speaking of hell, Dad did have to bring in an Oskelesian to teach you to control your magic.”

“An Oskelesian that the legendary Sir Marcus married and, even though you’re a prince, Sir Marcus would still kick your ass if he heard you say anything bad about her.”

Lucas crossed his arms over his chest and raised a brow.

“For Dracor’s sake, you were engaged to their daughter. How bad can her mother be, Oskelesian or not?”

“You had to bring that up.”

“You were engaged last month. I burned Mom over twenty years ago.”

“But Mom didn’t bargain her life to a dragon to save Tamryn.”

“Not my fault you can’t keep your girlfriends. Shouldn’t you go slay the dragon or something and bring her back?”

Lucas’s jaw twitched. “She made the bargain voluntarily, and he lived up to his half.”

“Hasn’t stopped other men.”

“I’m bound by the code of Dracor and the Dragon Church.”

“Thank the gods I’m not.”

“If you’re not fast enough to catch the last two unicorns, you wouldn’t stand a chance against a dragon.”

“Better a dragon than Mom and Dad trying to marry me off. You weren’t fast enough to escape that. Took a dragon to get you out of it.”


Now, to figure out a story for them… They have a unique dynamic. I can see how they love each other, hate each other, and would do anything for each other, but only after giving the other one a thorough teasing. I don’t think any of this would ever make it into a book, but knowing it about them makes them richer and easier to write.


How about you? Ever have an idea for a character come to life all on its own? How about characters having arguments in your head, or making you smile at your desk for no reason?

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5 thoughts on “Alive!

  1. Ha! That’s a lovely little bit of dialogue. Not sure I’ve ever had a cool scene spring into my head like that (but it would be awesome if it did). Instead, I usually get an idea about a couple of characters and a general sort of situation, and that’s the seed of a story for me.

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