4 comments on “Sculpting the story.

  1. Good stuff here. You seem very focused on making the characters real, which is always a good thing. The best thing for making the characters real is putting them into unusual or stressful situations and finding out how they respond. Sometimes they do things you don’t expect. Let them live, breathe, learn about them. I like your reversal idea, that may be something I steal. =)

    • Thanks! That is very good advice and I’m currently thinking of things I can do to torture my characters. It sounds horrible but the only way to get the most out of characters is to be sadistic. Thankfully I’m not the first to propose such a thing. I forget who said it but the gist of what this other writer said is that you have to really abuse your characters to see what they’re made of. I’m looking forward to that moment when the characters start to dictate their own rhythms and actions and I can just sit back and let them do their thing. To an extent that is. I checked out your blog and I’m really impressed. I look forward to your next posting. Keep up the good work!

      • Hey, thanks a lot! I really appreciate it. Validation comes back from out of the void, so to speak =)

        Punish your characters, eh? Sounds like a good idea to me. Yeah, I’ve never written a novel before, and the characters are definitely the hardest part to get right (which is true for anyone, I’m sure), I just can’t get a handle on their personalities. They all feel generic to me, and I’m really hoping that’s just my own critical eye and not actually true. We’ll see as the story progresses and I get to make them suffer a bit 😉

        Keep up your own work sir! It is only in the doing that we learn what is possible.

      • Hiya! Well that sounds really annoying. And it may be that you’re being too critical of yourself. Though I have to say, that’s not a bad thing just don’t get carried away. I can definitely relate. I’ve been through that experience where it feels like the characters you’re making are just husks. One thing that helps a bit is looking at Jungian personality types. Research that and start to consider which of the types interests you. Are you interested in the introspective type who’d rather sit and ponder or do you want to write a character who is always throwing him/herself out there? Also, take an analytic look at the characters in media you enjoy. What are they like? What makes them stand out in your mind? How do they react to things? If you can pinpoint what it is that sets them apart, you can start to figure out how to make your own characters stand apart. And finally, look at yourself. We’re all conglomerations of different traits, some of which are completely at odds with others! What do you like about yourself? What do you hate about yourself? Do you have quirks> Don’t be afraid to use parts of who you are to create characters or add to the characters you’ve already set to the page. For that matter, don’t be afraid to use parts of people you know.

        Just keep writing. As long as you’re writing, you’re progressing. 🙂

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