A word about saving. Keep what you hold dear, but don’t be afraid to let go of the mundane things that can be easily replaced if you decide to go there again. Learn to tell the difference .
Have you ever experienced the joys of moving and downsizing at the same time?
That’s the process I am in now. My husband, with dementia, and I did it a few years ago and it was more of a problem for our kids in cleaning out the overflowing basement. Now I’m in the process of moving again, downsizing again. It fills your every waking thought. What do I get rid of, what do I keep? Who would want my cast offs? How to give up some of my treasures and be fair about it? It’s not the end of my being, just the end of some of the things I used to be.
How in the world do we accumulate so much ‘stuff’? I once heard someone, in their infinite wisdom say, ‘if you haven’t used it in five years get rid of it’. That’s not entirely practical. It certainly wasn’t for my husband, who repaired or fixed everything that had gone wrong in our years of marriage, then we would have spent time and money doing it. We rarely ever had to call in a repairman. I was lucky. The kids were not so lucky in having to clean up that mess. But they did and we had moved on.
And now it’s time to let go again. These decisions seem out of my control, and we all like being in control. I really am looking forward to my comfortable move. It’s just the process that stymies me.
Develop a story line to fit the character. You are on your way to creating a short story or novel.
If you have made a list of traits for your main character from the two previous entries, you will have a base line for your short story or novel.
That is a starting point for most, but not all writers. Some will have heard of, or read, or developed an idea of their own that fuels a story line, and perhaps the character like the one you have put together will be a good fit.
Others, like me, have the idea for a story before the characters come to life. In writing a novel I often knew the beginning and the end of the story I wanted to write. From there I developed characters to be believable. And then came the middle,… probably the most demanding part of the story.
The main character’s efforts to solve the problem they are faced with only go downhill until their situation looks hopeless. You can probably identify that from books you have read. That is when you must let that person solve the existing dilemma themselves. You can’t have some else jump in and save the day. Your story must revolve around a character, and he or she must be different in some way at the end of the story than they were in the beginning. Give them new insight, either by reaction to a person, place or situation. You will, then, be on your way to becoming a writer.
What traits did you give your main character? How can you make him or her more believable?
Have you tailored your main character after yourself? Do you know how your protagonist or main character really feels and presents himself? All these questions you have to ask yourself as you develop your main character (MC), whether it be for short story or novel. Of course, your character for a short story would just need the basic fundamentals. For the longer version you will have to know their moral standing, their frustrations, their talents, if they have any.
Determine if they are snobs, or simply have good taste. Are they ambitious, or moody, and how they would react to any type of situation? Are they prejudiced or broadminded? Do they like children? How do they respond to the elderly, to pets, to their own lot in life?
When it comes to secondary characters, since they will revolve around the main characters, decide what he or she wants. Know their flaws or strong points.
Your main character should have at least four traits from your list. Secondary characters need only one trait. All characters must have both positive and negative traits to be real.
Did you ever wonder how a writer develops the main characters for a novel? You would probably be surprised at the answer. You have to know those main characters as well as you know yourself.
Did you ever wonder how a writer develops the main characters for a novel? You would probably be surprised at the answer. You have to know those main characters as well as you know yourself. They can’t just be cardboard dummies that you move about in tranquil scenes and difficulties. You must convince the reader that they are real people, with the all the emotional ups and downs of every human being.
I begin with character charts for each of my main characters. They include age, sex, occupation, hair color, eyes, color, shape and size, skin color. Then they get more interesting, You give them a definite walk, like limp or baby steps, faltering or direct, and how they talk, drawl, rapid fire or lisp. To add to their appearance, you determine their posture and, are they over or underweight, clean, neat, or untidy. Then comes the shape of their face, head and limbs, or unusual features like scars or defects, birthmarks or moles, flabby or tight skin. These are mainly physical traits.
Then you have things like religious beliefs, education, class or standing in society, parents or their influence, interests, hobbies. Try starting a character chart of yourself. You may even learn something you once took for granted. In my next blog I will write of the working of the the main character’s (MC), mind and begin charts for the secondary character.