Nabokov used to say that he pushed his characters around like serfs or chess pieces—he had no time for that … impotence whereby authors like to say, “I don’t know what happened, but my character just got away from me and did his own thing. I had nothing to do with it.” Nonsense, said Nabokov, if I want my character to cross the road, he crosses the road. I am his master.
From How Fiction Works, by James Wood. Picador, page 116.