Saturday, August 11, 2012
Drama in a Small Town: LISTEN WHEN YOUR CHARACTER SPEAKS: I’ve attended seminars, enjoyed conferences and have personally given workshops on many aspects of writing. I lead both a Critique group ...
I’ve attended seminars, enjoyed conferences and have personally given workshops on many aspects of writing. I lead both a Critique group and a Creative Writing class. I mention this because I'm aware of the importance of character development, and plotting my romantic suspense novels. There are many hard and fast rules for writing. Don’t head hop. Stay in the character’s POV. Make your dialog real and keep your plots solid and believeable.
Would someone please tell that to my character? I’m presently writing, ROBYN, the fourth of the Rexford Series. Robyn is perky, cheerful, a character with personal problems but the first to help her friends when they’re in trouble. I’ve done a complete character analysis on Robyn. I know how she thinks, her weaknesses and faults, her joy of life. I also know her disappointments. Pretty easy character to write about....so, what happened?
Robyn is bulking at the stereotype. She snarls and tells me she’s changing, developing a backbone. Wait a minute. That’s not how I pictured her. Okay, she hasn’t altered her physical looks. She’s still petite with short blonde hair and a sunny smile, but now she’s making snap decisions and taking charge of her life.
This often happens when I write fiction. My characters take over. They talk to me and let me know they have a mind of their own and I had better listen. Unfortunately, they also disrupt my sleep at night and demand my attention. I’ve learned to keep a tape recorder next to my bed to keep a record of their midnight ranting. In the morning, I’m always surprised by the suggestions.
Listen to your characters. Get the feeling of what makes them tick. Never say never when it comes to their growth and you’ll end up with a well-rounded character who will develop your manuscript into a great reading experience.
Keep writing, Joyce Brennan