Know Your Character

As I’ve said before, I’m working on my own personal project at the moment.

I’ve been thinking about this story for almost 4 years now, the characters, the milieu and the main plot. I’ve done well in writing, coming up to about 25,000 words in 3 weeks when quite suddenly, I hit a standstill. I reread some of my chapters and realized that the character had responded all wrong. Also, it had pushed an interaction with another character that I didn’t want, and cut out the importance of the character that I actually needed the main role to be.

This was all very well and exciting at first but then I realized the reason this had happened was because I didn’t have the character act in the situation as she rightfully should’ve. I went out of character and had her become something her set (and needed) personality wouldn’t allow. This was why I got stuck.

Couple of months ago (ee gad, more than a year), I spoke about how it is very important to make sure that your character isn’t a Mary-Sue and I’d like to expand on that idea by saying that you have to make sure who your character is. This week, I read a post from Kim Harrison which briefly mentioned the myers/briggs personality test and, on impulse, I went and googled it.

It’s opened up a whole new world of character development for me and, as I had submitted my characters to the Mary-Sue test, I’m now going to submit them all to this test I found on the web so that I can correctly judge their course of action and behavior. (I took it myself and the result was very interesting!)

The thing is that the best stories’ characters are believable and I think that my most disappointing moments in books happened when a character did something which I felt was completely (and I mean completely) out of character. It crushes the reader and makes it less believable.

And to me, writing a story that is believable – with real emotions and responses, is the most important focus.

So, I’d suggest that you take these tests and spend some time developing not only your main characters, but your side characters as well and try to understand how they would interact with each other.

So far, it’s working for me.

 

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Home Safe.

I travelled far the past couple of days and mostly on my own. It always gives me time to think, which is what I needed strangely enough.

I re-evaluated my life, my relationship and my job. And, you know what? I came to the conclusion that I’m alright and that I’m on the right track. Compared to a year ago, my life’s really picked up. I’m still with Other Half and I feel our relationship has grown considerably (hopefully, it will never stop), I have a job which strangely enough suits my personality and gives me the space to do what I want (at the price of socializing with strange people) and I still feel that I tread relatively lightly on this earth of ours. I’ve started writing my own book, I still have my horse and I have a roof over my head.

And, against all the odds, I’m kept safe where ever I go.

So yes, I arrived home today and I felt safe. I felt safe for the first time in ages, not just in my job, but in myself and that’s a rare thing.

Hopefully I can get things back on track now.

Tomorrow, there will be a meaning full post, ;).

The Project and Procrastination

I feel a little as if I’ve been through a tumble drier of late. So far, January’s been a crazy month. I’ve had a lot to do at work, more so than usual and a lot more admin work which is my death and I’ve had my 5 month evaluation on which the decision will be made on whether I’ll be re-employed again or not. It wasn’t bad as evaluations went, but I still hate being weighed and measured.
My work is stressful, even though on a day to day basis I don’t work as hard as someone who spends all their time sitting in front of their computer. I only see about four to three clients a day but it’s draining and the distances that I have to cover to get to them is murderous, espesually with the amount of rain that we’ve been getting.
I’m not complaining naturally, I remember very well where I come from and ‘the waitress days’ are never far from my mind.
But, I’m tried and it’s taking its toll on my writing.
The Project has taken a stumble. I feel like someone who’s just let a whole bunch of fishing line fall down and roll away from them. I’ll have to go back about 9000 words to try and fix what I messed up. I’m not a happy camper, but it’s all about learning isn’t it?
Meanwhile, I’ve become totally addicted to Cyanide and Happiness comics. I’ve already read over 1000 of them.
This one in particular is one of my favorites.
Procrastination is great.

Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge – Freedom

I have a horse, which is all I have to say to explain this post.
This is for Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge.
Here is how the drabble challenge works!

Read the prompt and find your angle.
Write a drabble (100 words story, give or take five words).
Post a direct link to your drabble in the comments (or, if you don’t have a blog, just go ahead and post your drabble in the comments).

Drabble – Freedom.

I feel you move beneath me, every tug on the reins, every step, every slight toss of your head. I know what you look at, what you feel, what you fear.

You are me, and I am you because we are one.

When I ask, you give. Speed. Power. Loyalty.

You gave up your freedom for me, and through that you give me mine.

Freedom to fly, to feel the wind as you feel it. Freedom to feel my heart beat with yours as we race on God’s given earth.

Because you are me, and I am you.

Update: The Project

I am still busy with my project, now approximately 18,000 words into it. Wring have slowed down a bit, but I expected it. For me, the first chapters are always the easiest because my stories are still simple there. Plain. I introduce some characters, give the readers a few things to think about with the main character and introduce a theme which I try to drag through right to the end. My themes have ranged from things like “This character can’t do maths,” to “the dead never leaves us,”. It all depends on my mood really.

I’m pleased with how things are going, but I’m starting to realize that I need to do some serious planning. Or, not planning but mapping certainly. The thing is that, this story is not just about the story. The theme actually plays a very big role in this and I need to accentuate that without repeating myself too much.
At the moment, I’m repeating myself too much.

But, things are flowing. I have a nice set of characters, my main characters are established (sort of) and I have already picked a proverbial scapegoat. Because, my stories won’t be the same without a little bit of unfair treatment.

And, my main character surprises me, which is a pleasant thing. I have worked with the same characters for so long that there are very few surprises for me. This one is different. She has a mind of her own.

It’s good and so far, I hope the writing is as well. 😉