In case you were wondering that is me except with the impromptu blizzard I am doing all of my brainstorming in the warmth of my home. Occasionally I do it at work as well but I trust all of you not to mention it to anyone 🙂
I am making a lot of progress for Camp Nanowrimo which is great, I am actually enjoying my plot and where things are headed even though it was not at all what I anticipated from the onset. There is, however, an issue which is staring me down from my laptop and that is my character development.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel like my reader knows what they look like and their back-story, they might even know why they act the way they do but I want more. My problem is that I am not entirely sure what it is I want or how I can go about doing it.
Ideas? Anyone? What do you want from you characters when you write or even when you read?
Don’t be shy.
15,000 words down only 35,000 to go.
7 thoughts on “Character Fight”
Do not fret my friend, it’s a typical issue dealt with in early drafts. All you must do is keep writing the story; do not worry about it. They are like potential friends (or enemies) that we must get to know. The first draft is not all that important in that respect. Just get the first draft done. Every draft after that you’ll be able to deepen the characterization, because you know them more. The story will deepen and change, then change some more, and get more detailed,, and eureka! They’re alive. It’s a wonderful feeling, but you must take the time to get to know them. They will reveal themselves. Stephen King says his first-draft characters are like stick figures that he plops into a scene, and he just observes what happens. It’s only a first draft, a journey of discovery,
Without knowing the specific characters, I can’t give a definite answer. I can only tell you what I want from mine. I want growth from my characters. I usually think of the basics before I start writing and make a clear idea of the finale for them. I also give them physical and mental quirks to bring them more depth if that helps.
It’s ironic that you write this- I started a novel about 15 years ago. I have not worked on it for years- yet I feel that I have “abandoned” my characters because I could not write dialogue. The novel has a life of it’s own. The main character is me- a much more perfect form of me. There have been times when I ask myself- what would “she do”? I will probably never finish it, and if I did; I doubt whether I could publish. Honestly; it would matter more to me that I finished it.
What do your characters want? As they go after a goal, you will see who they are by how they respond to the obstacles you put in their way.
15,000 words already! You’re doing great!
Diving back into it, a lot of interesting ideas and feedback as always I love hearing it. I am going to try and let them lead me where they will, hope we don’t get lost 😉
I have two suggestions for character development, which may or may not be totally useless. So … here goes 😀
1. Get a sheet of paper and list all your characters. Then write down each character’s motivation in the book. It doesn’t have to be complicated — it’s just important to know WHY the character is doing what they’re doing, instead of just what they’re doing.
2. Get another sheet of paper and list all your characters. Under each name, draw a parabola. This is your “character arc”. On the left hand side of the parabola, write down the character’s “state of being” at the start of the book — e.g., “Book-loving girl looking for something more” — and then on the other end of the parabola, write down how the character will grow by the end of the book — e.g., “Experiences real life, discovers inner strength”. And yes, I just stole that character arc from Beauty and the Beast. But you get the idea!
Thanks for stopping by my blog, fellow Camper 🙂 The problem with my characters is that they take me over, and I probably write more back story and detail than is necessary. That may sound like a “good” problem to have, but it does mean that I have less control over them as I write. I like Michelle Proulx’s suggestion of listing your characters and writing down their motivation, state of being and growth. For you, it might help in fleshing out your characters; for me, her suggestions might help in keeping my characters from running amok 😉