Becoming Your Characters
If you’ve created amazing characters but aren’t sure about what to do with them, I suggest becoming your character for a day.
Let’s say you’re writing a novel about a young woman who is on her own for the first time. Go back to what you did when you were out on your own for the first time. Maybe you turned into a crazy party animal and made horrific mistakes that changed your life forever; this would be helpful if you were writing a novel a la Ellen Hopkins. Or, if you were like me, you stayed in your room and cried because you were homesick; this is more realistic, but it doesn’t make for a good novel.
Let’s say that your character wants to be out on her own, but she is very smart and careful and doesn’t let anything bad happen to herself (for now). So what would she do? She might go to a bar for the first time. Would she go with a friend? What would the friend be like?
- Then, do exactly what you’re character would do: go to a bar.
- Bring a pen and some paper with you to take notes.
- Make sure you write about it as though you’ve never been there before. What are the patrons like? The bartender? The general feeling of the building?
- Don’t write in your own words; write what your character would write.
Becoming your character is amazingly useful. You get the who, what, where, when, why and because it’s from real life, it becomes a believable and accurate representation. Give it a try if you find that you’re character is becoming bored because chances are that you might be as well.