What happens when your major character gets involved in a situation where you suspect he'd probably act one way, and yet in the interests of entertainment you force him to do the opposite?
I'm having a fine old time writing a series of scenes featuring Hal, but they're not in character. Without revealing too much, he gets caught up with a military type, and they're trying to escape from a hotel which is under siege. Now, I'd half expect Hal to hang back, let the other guy do the work, and then nick off at the first possible moment. Instead, he's loaded to the eyeballs with assorted weaponry and is going for it like Arnie on speed.
The humour comes about because he's hung all these grenades off his belt .. by their pins. Now and then he loses one, yells 'Grenade', and in the ensuing destruction he fires off a few random shots to 'get' the person attacking them.
Nobody gets hurt, but the destruction is more and more impressive at every turn, and it's as funny as hell to write. Not only is he single-handedly destroying this hotel, but his military offsider has no idea it's Hal causing the damage.
I have no idea where this is all going, or whether these scenes will ever make it into a finished Hal book, but right now this novel is Die Hard meets Lost meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Fun!
So, what do you do when your own characters run amuck? Do you straighten them out and tell them to behave, or do you write on and see where they take you? (This is where series books can be tricky, because you've already established the character. However, that's no excuse for keeping them in a straight jacket ... just look at how much some characters changed over the course of BtVS or Angel, for example.)
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)