Tag Archives: character development

The Fickle Protagonist

Oh dearie me, it’s been forever since I last posted. I got busy writing for Camp NaNo, and then I got interrupted by… more writing. Let’s just say that I did a ton of writing during the Camp NaNoWriMo month, but not all of it was for my story. Thus, I technically reached 50,000 words but didn’t finish the actual writing challenge. A girls gotta pay the bills, so I’m not terribly bummed.

The writing challenge did, however, allow me to better understand my main character who has been elusive and silent for many writing sessions.

Me: Excuse me, but can you please tell me who you are? I’m trying to write a book about you, you see, and it’s really hard to do that when all I know is that you’re female… you are female, right? If you’re not, that’s fine, but I’d really like to know what’s going on in that head of yours. How old are you, what’s your favorite color… Do you prefer Captain Crunch or Fruity Pebbles?

Main Character: ………………….

Perhaps I’m asking too much of them too soon, hmmm? My main character has warmed up to me a little bit more since our first encounter. Thank goodness because they were starting to seem as flat as a generic teen romance’s female protagonist. Meanwhile, the world was building up around my main character into something very interesting, but it could only go so far with a leading lady who refused to do anything.

What really helped me out was to stop worrying about what was going to happen next and to focus more on my MC’s past. You’d think that I would have done this before, but no. Without it, she was an obscure, blah character who had no real reason to be liked by her fellow characters, let alone the audience (*cough* Bella Swan *cough*). Now, I can’t particularly say that I know something as specific as her career at this point but I at least know what careers are out of the question, and which ones are most likely with her personality. And, there is no way she is going to be a depressed, angsty teenager like she was kind of becoming in the beginning. *shudders*

Well, toodles. Until next time.

Do you ever have trouble with your characters? Please share. Rant and give advice. It’s much appreciated.

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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Life, Writing


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‘Tis the season to learn some things

Things I’ve learned since my last post:

1. I’m still in shape enough to walk four blocks in the cold and actually enjoy it.

2. Orange marmalade on yams is Not good.

3. Pie is good for the writing process.

4. You should wear proper footwear and warm up before ding-dong ditching houses for Secret Santa.

It’s that time of the year where we start making some interesting memories. Me, I’ve grown a little more out of my shell, though I still don’t mind my own time alone. No one asked me a ton of questions about life and my future this year at Thanksgiving, which was very nice. I’ve been on pins and needles at a few family gatherings lately, waiting for the next person to ask me the same question for the hundredth time. It was quite a relief not to having to answer any questions at all. In fact, between that and an evening of eating pie for the holidays I was able to work out the missing puzzle piece to a story I’ve had in my head for months.

You could say that I’ve been working backwards and sideways with this story — not my typical method. I have two characters with pretty detailed backgrounds written up or in my head, but neither of them happen to be the main character of the story. The protagonist has been this vague, boring blur and — finally! — I’ve figured out who she is. Well, mostly. I’ve at least found her motivation in the story, which is part of who she is.

Am I being vague enough about that?

Well, I’d get more specific but… it’s a secret… or maybe it’s just because I’d really like to write the whole story before I talk about it to anyone. How about I say this: It’s a story about a girl with a curse.

Don’t worry, she’s not a vampire. It’s not that sort of curse. And, she won’t be angsty or the brooding type as so many cursed characters feel that they should be. Although, I have to admit, everyone broods once in a while so I can’t say that she won’t have her moments.

Anyway… Eat. Sleep. Read. Write. Repeat.

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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Life, Writing


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Have Some Character

Let’s just pretend that I haven’t been absent for days and days… *sweat-drop*

The Camp NaNo challenge is over. I almost made it, but instead of a 50,000 word novel I found myself with a few lessons instead.

Story, story, story. Why did I focus so much on story while ignoring the all important character development. That was my biggest obstacle. Because I was so concerned with the number of words I was able to crank out each day, I just started writing and found myself getting lost. If writing was like climbing a mountain then characters would be my gear. Without them I wind up lost, starving and running from angry, rabid raccoons.

I went into this “expedition” with low-quality gear, which is why I found myself faltering close to the end. I finally stopped and decided to think. Yes, thinking is one of my worst habits but it is also my best. It might get me into a lot of trouble, but it eventually helps me work through all of that. In this case, it brought me to the story of someone’s past, specifically a character who had popped into my head a couple of months before as I was making my first attempt at the writing challenge. He had intrigued me then, and I’d known that there was more to him than I was seeing. This hiatus that I’ve taken helped me see a little more of what that was. He now has a past, which means that he can now have a future.

So, my new goal has been made. Before I start writing again I’m going to get to know the characters more. I should have done this from the beginning, and I should have remembered to do it since I’ve had so many teachers and resources tell me to create a character driven story and not simply a plot driven one.

I have one character now, and while he’s quite the eye candy (or, rather, mental eye candy) all by himself a single character does not a very long story make. 🙂

Now, this is where I pump my fist and let out a battle cry. Onward to victory, yaaaah! 😀

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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Life, Writing


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Writing Update

Things are developing pretty well so far. I’m still not completely sure about any of the characters’ names, but that is always something that can be changed in the future. For now, my main character is named after one of my nieces. The only name I don’t feel like changing at this time is that of a rather new male character. His name is rather dashing, just like him, haha.

He sits there in his perfectly tailored suit, laughing at me with his eyes as I try to write him. I have had characters with rebellious minds of their own before, but this one… he exudes a quiet yet sexy confidence that almost annoys the heck out of me. He’s just waiting to see if I can actually pull it off, challenging me not to get too distracted by him while I attempt to write this story.

Now, I know it’s been almost a week but I’d just like to talk about something that happened on Monday. 4th of July, we had family over to eat heaps of food. As I’ve mentioned in a past post, family gatherings can be a dangerous place for me. I have one particular aunt, however, that makes family get-togethers particularly difficult for me. I’m sure she doesn’t want to make me feel so uncomfortable but whenever I spend any time around her, one of the things she’s bound to ask is whether or not I’ve gotten a job.

This last time, I was feeling so nervous but I collected enough courage to say what I wanted to say.

I’m writing.

Of course, it was followed by a lot of senseless rambling, but I did say it. I’m not sure what sort of impression I left with the way I started going on about how I had a lot of work ahead of me and that it would take a lot more before I ever got paid for what I was doing. I felt like I was making excuses again, for doing what I wanted.

I’m bringing this up now because I have another family party to go to in less than 12 hours. That particular aunt won’t be there, but I’m still preparing myself mentally for any questioning. I most definitely will be asked what I’m writing, since I was asked a few times on Monday. My lips are sealed on this one though, and I really hope that I don’t have to repeat myself too many times. I’ve most definitely grown to dislike talking about what I’m writing while I’m still writing it.

How much are you willing to divulge while you’re still in the writing process? Names, characters, plotline? I shared names before with my family, but I’ve decided not to even share that. Ambiguity is my friend right now. I’ve shared what I have about one character in this post because I felt like I should talk about character development a little, and how it can sometimes turn out. Sometimes the characters aren’t cooperative, occasionally they’re just frustrating. We may like to refer to them as our characters, but they still have minds of their own.

And, every so often, they’re too darn sexy for their own good. *grumbles*

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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Life, Writing


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