Category Archives: Character
On Thursday I wrote a long list of things we could do to prepare for NaNoWriMo and for some reason, when I went to post, it wouldn’t.
I pitched a fit and stomped off.
Went to the TH evening party and it was a lot of fun.
You have today and tomorrow to think about a few questions so you can jump into NaNo a little more prepared.
BTW, if you want to play with WIFYR, email Bruce here: firstname.lastname@example.org and make your goals. Bruce will add you to the list. The goal is 1,000,000 words as a group! Woot woot!
- Who is your main character?
- What does she want?
- Have her write a note to you.
- Ask her 25 personal questions and write this interview down.
- Who are her friends?
- Her enemies?
- Her family?
- What is she afraid of?
- Can she sing?
- Is she funny?
- Does he have a crush?
- A true love?
- What is the scariest thing that can happen to her?
- Will it happen to her?
- What do you see as the climax of the story? Do you have a general idea?
- Name three things she will lose during the telling of the story.
- Are you trying to teach a lesson?
- What are you willing to give up to complete your 50,000 words?
Also, every Thursday evening, from 7-10 pm we will meet at Kyra Leigh’s house, eat and write.
Last year this was a lot of fun. This year it will be even more fun because I won’t have to clean every TH in anticipation of people arriving at my home. YAHOO, KYRA LEIGH! Anyway, if you want to bring potluck (which is what gets you into the house) and write for a few hours with fellow NaNoers, let me know. We have room for about 15 people.
Change, though I mostly hate it, is good.
Especially if we change who we are into someone better. You just quit smoking? Excellent change! You’ve read a self-help book and now love who you are, even a little bit more than yesterday? Keep going, you’re on the right track! You’re picking up your wet towels so the roaches can’t rest under them? Woot woot! BIG change!
Change is good in our books, too.
I once read a novel that was supposed to be The Next Big Thing. The main character wanted something, and she went out and got it.
The problem was what she wanted. It wasn’t something we shoot for if we want to be happy people. And that’s okay. All characters don’t have to be like me. But this girl, she never really changed going after her weird goal or when she got what she wanted. She was static. Stagnate. Boring.
The book flopped because there was no character growth. No moral struggle. No putting herself at risk and overcoming because of her choices.
How does your character change?
Is this significant? Is it enough?
Did you character get there in a way where she was stretching and growing and becoming new somehow?
Was she at odds with herself, morally, to make these changes?
Write the perfect birthday party for your main character.
Write the worst birthday party for your main character.
Now, do this exercise for the antagonist and one other character of your choice.
Yes! We are now at number thirty five. Who’da thunk?
We have four chickens and a TURKEY.
And I’m going on a walk.
PLUS I’m trying to figure out HOW to make this murder mystery shape up. I have the most of the words. Now I need to put them in order.
This writing prompt requires no pen, no paper, no computer.
Give yourself 30 minutes private time where you just think.
Close your eyes.
Imagine your book, published.
Let the ideas come to you, think about the way the story unwinds, and then think about those trouble spots.
How might you fix them?
What could help?
No need to push or worry or struggle.
Just relax. Imagine that book in your hands.
If you take a nap, who cares? You went to sleep thinking of your novel.
Let your brain work out those troubles while you shower, or nap, or wash dishes.
Envisioning, relaxing, letting your brain help you, all of these things are a pretty cool part of the process of writing. When you finally come upon a fix, it almost feels magical, like the Muse stepped in. But no. It was you.
In the center of a blank sheet of paper, write your main character’s name. Circling your main character, write all the people s/he will encounter. Draw a line from that person to your MC.
When you have written everyone, no matter how small the interaction, write a brief description of how your character relates to that person. Are they friends? Enemies? Lovers?
Is it a teacher? The gas station attendant? A sibling?
As you write these relationships, decide if they’re fully formed (or as fully formed as one run-in can develop). Do you need to work on this relationship? How can you flesh these out?
Relationships offer dimension, plot, emotion, life, depth etc. Make sure EACH one in your book is developed.
I can’t sleep.
If I don’t sleep, my dog, well, he’s parked next to me. Wherever I am.
This is a good ol’ dog. I lucked out when he came into my life.
How about you?
Do you have an important animal in your life?
The girls got me a turkey and four chickens for Easter. They’re kinda cool, too.
We can’t forget about great award-winning books for kids with animals in them.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
The One and Only Ivan
Mr. Wuffles! and The Three Pigs
My Friend Rabbit
Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan
Babe and Ace and The Cuckoo Child
I could keep going, but I won’t. Instead, let’s think of
Give your main character a companion that is an animal.
Don’t spend more than ten minutes writing about this pet.
Give a good description, including loyalty traits and then answer this: what would your MC character do without this sidekick?