Sunday, November 6, 2011

Character Check!

Okay, so who's meeting their daily NaNo goals?? If you are... *applause*

Or if you're like me, knee-deep in other responsibilities, you may be having a hard time keeping up. Hey, that's okay.... take the pressure off. It's just a story, man. ;) Just roll with the tides ...

I've got my firt 4k words down, and a logline. And as I'm guilty of going back to do one revision on each chapter sometimes before continuing my draft, I've remembered how much I love writing stories. That's why I go back over my work... it rekindles that fire. And it helps put me back in the story when I can only write in spurts.

But I came across a post the other day that really helped me put my characters in check. I always like to get to know them BEFORE writing the first draft. Like motivations, greatest fears, etc. QueryTracker's Blog did an excellent post entitled, Your Hero's Dark Side: Looking into the Abyss.

I recommend reading the entire post, but I'll give you the gist of what resonated with me the most. These Questions:

1. What does your main character fear and hate more than anything?
2. What is he/she willing to do to exterminate the feared/hated thing?
3. How can you make his/her interactions with the hated thing taint him? In other words, each time your character looks into the abyss, how can the abyss claim him a little more?

These really got the ol hamster cranking the wheel in my head. Check out the whole article by psychologist Carolyn Kaufman. It's really worth your while.

Tomorrow I'll be posting a review of Jessica Bell's String Bridge. I'll tell you exactly what I thought of her writing and the story. Hope to see you back here then!

So do these questions hit any nerves with you? Or do you have a particular question about your characters you like to answer BEFORE writing the first draft? Please share ...


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Some very good question there, but as I usually write mostly about myself or family it's hared to answer them.
Look forward to to your review on Jessica's book.


Old Kitty said...

I'm with you rolling with life's punches and cheering all these fab nano-ers who are reaching their word goal counts! Yay!

As a confirmed panster I just tend to write first, think later - which is truly a most awful way to start and I don't recommend it at all as characterisations shift and change at will! Yikes!

Take care

DM said...

Now, these are interesting questions. I particularly like the last one. Thanks for this post, PK

Jess said...

These are fantastic questions! I'm cutting and pasting these and putting them at the top of my WIP document to keep them in mind and keep myself stimulated. Thanks :)

Anita said...

My characters change a bit...I should probably know that's going to happen ahead of time!

McKenzie McCann said...

When I write, I prefer to record. I don't put too much thought into the first draft and just write whatever the characters tell me to. When the first draft is done, I have the pure soul of my story, but it's usually somewhat terrible. Editing is the hard part for me, not writing.

Jacqueline Howett said...

Some interesting, deep questions.

Thanks for the link. I'm off to check it out!

Have a great Sunday!

Nas Dean said...

GOod post and looking forward to your review of String Bridge!

Cally Jackson said...

Awesome questions. This kind of analysis really helps to give your characters depth. I can definitely answer these questions for my main characters but not all of my key supporting characters. Perhaps that's something to be remedied!

William Kendall said...

Now those are some terrific, edgy questions... particularly staring into the abyss!