Tuesday, September 7, 2010
How Well Do You know Your Character?
The voice is harder to nail and even when my crit friend asked me a question about this character, I couldn’t answer. Because I didn’t know. And that’s when I realized what my problem was. I didn’t know my character. How can I expect her to face and solve problems if I didn’t even know how she was or supposed to react?
Then I remember the advice from my critique group. It is so important to have a crit group, people! Interview your character. Write out questions for your character and and interview her. Find out everything you need to know about her. And more. Get inside her head. Find out her insecurites, her fears, her dreams. Learn the simple things about her, such as her laugh, what she wants to be when she grows up, what qualities she looks for in a best friend. What does she look like? Make your MC real to you. And then, when you write about her, she’ll be just as real to your readers.
And your story will flow. You can anticipate how she’ll handle each situation. She’ll write the story for you. And at the end, it will be like saying goodbye to an old friend. Isn’t that so much better than struggling the whole through and trying to figure out your character page by page? For me, I’m glad I’m figuring this out now. For some of you, you probably already have or you do exercises to get this down. Or maybe some of you play it by ear and it just comes to you like it did with me and my first book.
But if you struggle at all with voice and wonder why, then maybe this could help. When you nail the voice of your character, you know it, because something just “clicks.” And to have the voice, you have to have a strong character.
at 12:24 PM