12/30/09 ~ Character Development

What do you want from your main character (MC)?

What things do they bring to the story? Do they rescue someone? Do they abuse some one? Are they good? Evil?

You may not know all the characteristics of your MC when you first start outlining, but you know the general direction you want them to take. In Dream State I wanted my MC, Drew Sovern, to be a monster. I wanted him to act and behave as though there were no ramifications for the things he did. I also wanted him to be mentally unstable, but appear to be completely normal. He was a tough guy to write, because on top of the things that he was doing, I wanted his actions, his day to day activities to be believable.

In my current WIP, I was introduced to an excellent tool, courtesy of Carol Valdez Miller, @cvaldezmiller. Her tip was to interview the character. Seemed a bit odd to me but it was a chance to stretch a little bit, so I tried it out. The results surprised me. I sat down and developed a series of questions, then assumed the persona of the character, and came up with some very interesting results.

So if you’re struggling with the finer points of your characters, try an interview. You’ll find more than you bargained for, and create a much more robust and interesting character.

Thanks Carol for the wonderful tip.

Happy new year, and Happy writing.

Robert E

 
 

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3 Responses to “12/30/09 ~ Character Development”

  1. Charlie Says:

    Robert, you know, but for others who don’t, I took Robert’s advice and used this tool. (thanks btw for passing on the advice!) I decided to turn my brain off and just let the interview happen; just let my MC flow out on her own. What did come out what very telling, and a very sweet surprise. It was basic, but gave me a lot of stuff to exploit. I recommend this idea to anyone who is ever going to write a character, ever. 🙂 I’m not just an endorser of the idea, I’m also a user of it! LOL

  2. Susan Says:

    Interesting, and not the first time I’ve seen this idea.
    I am thinking of using it to determine POV, something I’m having problems deciding on my WIP.
    Any ideas for settling on 3rd v. 1st person? And if 1st person, using MC or secondary protagonist?

    • Robert Crull Says:

      Susan, I tend to write from a third person view. When I get to the interactions and the conversations stepping into first person makes it easier for the dialogue to sound more natural. My current WIP has a secondary prot, but not sure yet how she is going to behave, as she will have aspects of an antagonist for the MC. Should be fun.

      I wish you the best of luck.

      Robert E


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