Vargas Llosa“It becomes apparent that the author cannot mold characters as he pleases, that they have a certain autonomy.”

– Mario Vargas Llosa

A wonderfully insighful observation by brilliant Spanish-Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. I doubt many authors would question this wisdom.

After all, as writers, you may have clear ideas on how your characters should develop. But any author who has worked to develop his or her character on the page eventually reaches the conclusion that those characters seem to have a mind of their own.

You may have envisioned a character acting a certain way, but once the character emerges on the page he or she has very different ideas and nudges you towards a different treatment.

This is one of the exciting aspects of the creative process, when an author’s creations begin to take life on the page and claim a ‘certain autonomy’. Here’s to embracing the creative process – and fictional characters’ ability to guide the author’s hand. After all, it seems to have worked out quite well for Vargas Llosa …