Wherein I endeavour to share writerly advice lightened with humour, pictures and a dollop of 1930s-1940s history.
Good points, and I'll add you don't have to know all this before you start. Things can unfold as situations arise. I didn't know my WIP's heroine had been engaged until about chapter 6.Terry Terry's PlaceRomance with a Twist--of Mystery
Interesting points, accompanied by some lovely photos :)
Yes! I'm learning a lot about my characters right now. Just when I think I know everything I need to move forward, I learn more. This bunch is pretty accommodating. I hope they're not lying to me.
Terry; I've found the more I know at the beginning, the less I need to adjust during editing. But then again, I'm an outliner!Sarah; Thanks!Carol; I suspect they're lulling you into complacency while planning an ambush. That's what my characters would do.
Elspeth, I'd probably find MORE to fix if I tried to adhere to an outline, because my characters are always tossing new stuff my way. I find working 'backward' often helps with creating more conflict and tension. My favorite question to ask as I write is "Why?" Terry Terry's PlaceRomance with a Twist--of Mystery
Terry; I use those techniques too!
Elspeth - You are so right about needing to learn about characters before we write them. One of my favourite ways to do this is to ask the question, "Why?" If I have a character, say, eating a sandwich, I ask myself why a sandwich? Why not a steak? Is the character a vegetarian? Is s/he the kind of person who's always in a hurry (no time to cook), or perhaps a lousy cook? Those "Why" questions always help me.
Margot; You've made an excellent point! Unfortunately, when I ask my characters 'Why' many of them look smug and answer 'Because."
Excellent points.Characters are like your kids, their best answer is, "Cuz."
Mary; They are very similar, aren't they? Bless their little hearts.
Hi, Elspeth! Thanks again for your comments on my post on Carol Kilgore's blog today, I'm so glad to have found your blog as a result! Love this post and the pictures you used, great things to remember when creating characters. Great to meet you! :)
Julie; Great to meet you too! Thanks so much for popping over.
My characters are kids, so there isn't that much of a history, but I do need to know about their families. Not too much though - just how it affects my little gang of MCs. When I found myself wondering what someone's Dad was like in high school, I realised I was heading for The Wastelands of Procrastination!
I love having more background than I *need* to know to get the character right. Great post!
Beth; You may see Wastelands of Procrastination...I don't!Elizabeth; Thanks! I have discovered (for me) more background at the beginning means less editing later.
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