4. Creating Human Characters
Page 5 of 9 | Heart of the Story | How Do You? | Personality | Discovering Your Characters (1) | Discovering Your Characters (2) | Show, Don't Tell |
| Dialogue | Minor Characters | Don't Try This at Home! |
Discovering Your Characters (2)
Sometimes you just can't see the details of your characters until they're on the page acting out the story.
Method 2: Let your characters develop as you write.
Sometimes you have to fumble your way along, and learn as you go. Nevertheless, you still must discover the real person behind the name on the page, and it's still just as helpful to learn the kinds of things that I listed on the previous page. The difference is that you learn on the fly, and sometimes don't know critical details until the story demands that you know them.
This method is more intuitive, but riskier. It's a leap into the unknown. You start writing, trusting to luck and to your skills that you'll be sharp enough and alert enough to bring the characters into focus as you write. It means trusting more to your subconscious to bring up what you need when you need it.
Sometimes it means throwing out your first efforts because you didn't get it right. And when you do see your character more clearly, you may find that you need to go back and start all over with the scene, or the chapter, or maybe even the whole story.
Sometimes it means that the characters seem in charge of you, instead of the other way around.
But it can also give the subconscious author in your head the chance it needs to come up with the new, the startling, the unexpected.
Which method should you use?
It's up to you. "You pays your money and you takes your chances."
Course content copyright © 2005 Jeffrey A. Carver