i learned something new the other day. it started off with boredom. boredom with my hairstyle at the same time i had a very posh wedding to attend. clearly i couldn’t show up with the same old hairdo, but my hair is stick straight. if i can get the ends to bend under, it’s a good day. i thought about what to do and decided i wanted something like this:
one problem. i can’t french braid. trust me, i’ve tried. there’s something so elegant and chic and yet casual about it. my friend carrie has worn her hair in a similar style, but i wasn’t sure if she could recreate it on me. as i sat there on the bed and let her nimble fingers twist and twine my hair, i was struck by the thought that i’ve known her for 16 years and somehow didn’t know this one small fact.
she’s a master french braider.
even after all these years, there was something i didn’t know about her. i loved this, but yet, i am freaked out when the character i’m working with (one i’ve known only for a few months) does something unexpected? why is this? why can’t i embrace that newness like i embraced the news about carrie? sure, my character’s not french braiding my hair for me, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less entertaining.
i realize you’re only going to know what people/characters want you to know, but how do you make sure to ask the right questions? and what do you do when something unanticipated arises in the plot or with a character? do you roll with the punches? do you manipulate things to your satisfaction? do you let yourself (and your hair) get twisted up?