Sunday, November 7, 2010
Characters Popping Up Everywhere
Our new blog chain question started off with Abby who asked:
Where do your characters come from? And once they've been introduced to you, how do you get to know them?
For me everything starts with character. My characters tell me what the plot will be, where the story will be set, and even what genre I'll be writing in.
I'm not really sure where these characters come from - I just start writing and there they are. And to know them better, I simply keep writing. And as I write even more characters emerge.
I actually struggle with a perpetual character overpopulation problem. Minor characters - like a waitress or a next door neighbor - meant to have one line, get greedy. They're not content with merely bringing more coffee or asking about their missing dog. No, they have to become complicated people with their own thoughts and problems. And they want to talk about these problems, and make the main character care about these problems.
Sometimes I let them. Hey, sometimes it works out and the waitress is suddenly the main character's best friend. Sometimes though, it's just a distraction. A tangent that leads nowhere and means nothing except more words on the page. That's when it's time to kill the next door neighbor. Their missing dog probably gets whacked too. Writing can be a bloody business.
And that's pretty much it from me, but don't forget there is more blog chain goodness out there! You can find Shannon's post from yesterday here, and then go look for Sandra's blog post after that!