Meeting your Characters
One of the best feelings in the world is the first time you write a character in any depth. That's when you really get to see what they're like. You know what their traits are, you know their background, but for the first time, you get to see it all unfold. It's a unique experience and can be really, really fun.
In case you're wondering, yes, I got to write a new character that I hadn't played with before. It was invigorating. Watching her match wits with the main character, move about her space, interact with her world, it was enlightening. It told me more about her and now, more than when I created her, I know how she's going to act when the end of the story rolls around.
You know, it occurs to me that this must seem really weird to people that don't write. That to take such enjoyment, such entertainment even from just writing. And even more that different subjects produce different reactions. Well, I don't care if it's weird. I like this new character. I enjoyed writing her and seeing where she went and I just might find a way to use her again someday.
So should you do this for every character? I mean... you don't have to 'pants' everything. It's good to make sure you've plotted out your characters, played with their characters, and thought about their backstory before you ever write with them. But I think there's a difference depending on what you're writing. In a short story your characters won't be around long enough to really draw out a long plot. Discovery writing there I think is definitely permissible. But in a novel? Something with a lot of ins and outs? Maybe have that person researched a bit before you start.
Is it coincidence that I laid out suggestions that excuse the actions I took for my novel and short story, thus making them both permissible though contradictory? Look over there! -smoke bomb-
Be Excellent to Each Other
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.