Writer Thoughts

Characters

DSCF0133aCharacters, I hinted toward the fact that my original protagonist met an early fate. No matter how much planning is done there are times when characters take on a life of their own. Yes, despite all a writer’s best intentions these things happen and it does not always coincide with the plot.

Some characters that are meant to live don’t and then some characters who were genuinely meant to die just keep on hanging on for dear life. That’s my grumble after what occurred late in my second novel, I am still unsure where this will lead needless to say it may be interesting further down the track.

My point is for all the planning in the world when you bring a character to life that character makes choices that you don’t always anticipate. Whatever you do avoid trying to stifle the character it just makes things worse, I was tempted but then I prefer to think that choices give a character depth by allowing them to react the way they would if they were real.

Initially I tried following the recommended approach that I had read and began making cards and describing each character. I’m afraid this method was not for me and this is where I became bogged down and disillusioned placing my early descriptions away for another time.

I am a fluid writer, I set the scene with one or two characters and then the events bring the other characters to life. The characters then develop with the story and I keep a useful index with categories for terms, beasts, people and places. For me this process has been a life saver, I simply open my document scroll down to the designated place and find the character or add a new one with a short sentence that I can add to later as the character develops.

Characters need to have flaws, they may not always see things form the same perspective and are prone to make mistakes. Sometimes it takes a while to find a character’s voice but I find it is well worth the effort because it adds another layer to the story. This is an area where the further I go the more I learn because there is so much about characters to get to know.