Out of Character

I’ve always focused on my weaknesses as a writer, I’m sure it’s terrible to concentrate on what makes you awful, but it’s something that pushes me.

It allows me to build on things that I’m not good at, challenging myself to try different things to help grow that weakness into something I can play with. I start with a hard mental hurdle, apply heat and bend it like metal, shaping it like a blacksmith.

I’m learning as I go, I’ve always been able to build a world, scenes and plots, I mostly owe this to my imagination. The areas I’m not strong in are things like relationships, characters and writing convincing conflict. I can’t write drama or suspense, a pretty important cog in the gears of a novel.

I picked up a book recently from an author called Holly Lisle about building characters from the ground up. You can find the book, Create a Character Clinic, right here 

This is a great resource for someone who doesn’t know how to build a character. I always have a trait in mind, the unlikely hero, plucky teenage vigilante, grizzled soldier-turned spice merchant. I have always found it hard to put that idea into the mind of my protagonist.

I can never find a motivation that drives the young Peter Parker to become Spiderman or that sense of rebellion still strong in Malcolm Reynolds heart. I can never find the hook that makes Harry Dresden become Harry Dresden, Warden of the White Council, Winter Knight and keeper of the Island.

This is what I want to work on the most. I find it easy to build a world, set up the politics and world-shaping conflicts. I need to fill those worlds and where better to start but on the page.

Shortly, you’ll see some character exercises show up here, in an attempt to build up the muscles used in character development.

Thanks again for reading and punch a unicorn when you see one.

Advertisements