Another look at characters
And for today’s blog is going to have to be a little shorter than usual. Unfortunately the desktop version of the site doesn’t seem to want to load on my computer. Frankly, I’m surprised the cell phone version actually loaded up. Even that took a few tries.
I know I’ve done more than a few of these “shorter blogs” lately. And it doesn’t help that my cell phone keyboard is messed up so I’m using dictation mode. But still, it’s been over a year since I started this blog and I don’t intend to miss an update if I can help it. So what’s today’s mini topic?
Well, I think I will briefly touch on creating characters. I don’t know of anyone recommends it more if there’s any writing manuals that suggest doing things like this, but other than my main character, I tend to start a lot of my characters out as walking tropes.
That is to say, the initial idea of a lot of my side characters her fairly one dimensional. I create my side characters as needed, to fill a gap or perform a specific job in the story. It’s only after I have a chance to play with them, mess around with them within the narrative, and see how things turn out, that I have any idea of where I want to go with these characters. For example, my character of Samantha started out, I’m ashamed to say, as a stereo typical Amazon. By the end of my 2 or even third draft, she had evolved into something far more complex. She’s a character that doesn’t understand others very well, but is never really needed to. She is a character that very much wants to take the weight of the world on her own shoulders, to never have to worry about needing others, and through her story arc she really comes into her own. I’ve actually gotten really positive feedback about her character from some of my betas.
It’s really fun to look at some of the feedback about Samantha, to think how she started so one-dimensionally, and to realize that people actually really like her. So I guess the idea behind today’s blog is to not worry if your characters are flat on the first draft. They are there to fill a role. Once they’ve done that, then you can go in and expand them, make them more complex, and make them, ultimately, more human.
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.