Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Fleshing out your characters
This is what I've been really delving into the last six months. I've found the more I dive into my main character and the other prominent ones, the more the story moves forward. I start to say, "Yeah, that's what I'm talking about."
My protagonist's father was just a rough sketch until I did an exercise or two to get to know him. He plays an important part in who and what my main character does in the novel. It breathed more vibrance into my story.
What I did was wrote a scene that would bring out the conflict between the father and the daughter. It gave me insights into the father, and I used it as a jumping off point to who this controlling man was and what secrets he'd be hiding from all his loved ones.
Characters are fertile soil for keeping secrets. We wouldn't have anything to write about if it weren't for truths kept locked up, hidden, ready to sprout when given daylight. It makes a strong character based on how he or she reacts to the hidden truth.
So many layers and colors to characterization. How do you flesh out your characters? It could mean reaction to another character, a reaction to an obstacle, problem-solving skills, and some in the details of how they live.
Have a great writing week.