Okay, so anyone who knows me a bit, knows how concerned I am about my characters being real and 3-D. I don't like one-dimensional characters, I like development, I like character driven books (although I have been know to be an Asimov fan, so go figure...).
In any event, lately, I decided my antagonist needed a little change in character to make him more interesting. You see, despite the interesting bits I tried to inject to his character, at the end of the day, I felt he was predictable.
So I made him do something out of character. Being the selfish, self-centered, control freak that he is, I made him do a selfless act.
I discussed this with a buddy who said that while in real life, this would probably never happen as we do tend to stay in character, in fiction it is necessary. Fictional characters, he said, should act totally against their nature as it adds more depth to them and it makes for great drama.
So it's a funny thing. I keep wanting to have "real characters," yet to make them real, they have to be fictional. I like this.