After 27 years of writing a series, you’d think I’d know my characters. Well, I don’t.
I do know what they look like and somewhat how they feel. The problem is they are based too much on my perceptions reactions, and emotional baggage. This makes them one-dimensional and awkward in situations that they shouldn’t be.
To this end, I’ve decided to take a break from writing and work on them. I’m using a book called 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More to help with this. The book is actually a compilation of scenarios based on various attributes (archetype, occupation, activity, etc.). At the end of each scenario, you are asked a question. Now while this question may not apply to my characters exactly, it gives me an idea of the type of questions I should be asking. A few words changes and presto, I have a question that I need. Using this method, I’ve come up with 14 general question and probably half a dozen or so more that are more character specific. Now I just have to sit down and finish creating the questions as well as answer them.
All this thought about characters has gotten me thinking about something else. I need to write a book. Not a fiction one, but a non-fiction one about writing. I mean, I’ve made so many mistakes it’s not funny. I know there is a lot stuff already out there about writing from theory to personal stories. However, books speak to people in different ways. Maybe, just maybe, my book will help someone because they identify with what I did. All I really ever wanted to do with my writing was help and inspire people.