Experiencing a bit of writer’s block? Take a moment to evaluate your character development.
Recently, I was working on a sequel to a woman’s novel I wrote a few years back. I had never intended to write a sequel but, due to requests from readers, I decided to give it a go. In the first book, I spent no time purposefully developing my characters. There were things that they faced throughout the book and as a result of these situations their layers began to appear to myself and the reader.
However, with the sequel I had to spend a bit more time thinking on the layers I had created during the first book and how those layers would affect the decisions my characters were making in the second book. I had to stay true to the characters I had created. The super outgoing chatterbox couldn’t become mute in the second book, it simply wouldn’t work for the reader.
I got about 40,000 words into the story and began experiencing what some label as “writer’s block”. Upon further evaluation, I recognized that I didn’t have the same interest in my characters as I had with them while writing the first book. During the first book, I was engaged as the storyteller. I wanted to know where these characters would end up just as much as the reader wanted to know. But for this sequel I seemed to be shuffling them through a bunch of motions just to get to THE END, literally.
Challenge for You: What are three traits or quirks your character has in their layers? Are they brave, what has made them brave? Are they scared, what has made them scared?
As a writer or, better put, a storyteller, it is so very important that your characters become as real to you as the people you interact with on a daily basis.
In Character Development: Part 1, I mentioned the layers that we have to work into our character and into our story to draw in the audience or reader. It doesn’t matter if this is a work of fiction. The audience wants to believe that this person is real. They want to know what they are feeling and why they are feeling it. The abused wife cannot suddenly find another man and live happily ever after. I mean, this can happen but let’s be real for the readers’ sake it won’t happen suddenly.
Tip of the Day: Invest in your character’s lives. Don’t rush to THE END.
#NaNoWriMo #writerscommunity #authorlife #storytelling #characterdevelopment
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.
At Teddyfly LLC, we are seeking the change that we want to see within ourselves and those around us.