I've been working hard on this summer's project. After floundering around for a few weeks, I finally hit my stride again and have been moving steadily through it and discovered something, as a writer, about the characteristics of this main character.
Basically, I had created her to be a slightly angry teen who eventually overcomes her anger and learns to trust and love the adult who she perceived to be her personal nemesis. Characters are supposed to grow and change, but during these last 20,000 words, she's developed characteristics I didn't have a clue she possessed. At first I wanted to halt things again, thought about it, and decided it would be better to forge ahead and complete the first draft no matter what she did or who she became.
Since I have not written a young adult character in depth before, I don't know if this is normal for YA characters in novels. These characteristics showed up when the character was presented with major conflict in her life because of the plot and the antagonist. MG characters don't have to be this complex. For those of you that do write young adult I have a couple of questions.
1. If your character has changed dramatically, do you go back and add or hint at some of these characteristics when you first presented him/her so it won't be such a big difference from the beginning?
2. Do you just let the changes take the reader by surprise the way it took you, the author, by surprise?
If you faced this in your writing, I would love to know how you handled it.