Writing Update and a Bit of Character Work

AKA - Me whenever I try to do a nanowrimo

AKA – Me whenever I try to do a nanowrimo

 

 

Well another November has rolled around and again writers all around the country are getting their plots lined up and trying to reach that seemingly astronomical word count of 50,000!! For my own part I don’t really get too invested in this yearly event. I like the concept of having a measurable goal to hold myself to, but in practice it’s just never worked for me. I’ve spoken about this before but for me whenever I have tried to do a nanowrimo I go a bit daft and start putting too much thought into the number of words and less into whether or not they’re the right words. If writing this way works for you then HAVE AT IT!!!! All writers have their own systems and things that work for them, if nanowrimo leads you to productive writing and good stories well then I wish you good luck!!!

Slow-Progress-Is-Better-Than-No-Progress

I am still working on my Gothic mystery story, but the progress has been slow. That doesn’t really bother me because even slow progress is progress. Last month I really started getting stuck on who Liz, my protagonist, is and how her mind works. If I as the writer can’t get a clear picture of who my characters are then my readers aren’t going to be able to either! That was a major problem and to fix it the only thing I could think of to do was to rewrite my entire story from Liz’s perspective as if the whole story was her diary. Because I wanted my story to have a Gothic vibe, it made sense for mw to imagine what the plot would look like if I wrote it out in epistolary format, where the story is told via letters and journal entries, because that was really popular in Gothic lit. Dracula, one of if not the most famous Gothic novel of all time, was written like that so I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a go.

Imagining what my character might write in their private dairies really gave me the chance to see from their perspectives

Imagining what my character might write in their private dairies really gave me the chance to see from their perspectives

To be truthful it was grueling and slow work to change the format of my entire story, but in the end I had a very distinct picture of who Liz was and how her mind worked. Using that knowledge I went back to my original manuscript and added bits of narrative from Liz’s diary into it so that I could flesh out her character. I think that the next time I write I will try to keep a running diary for all of my main characters so that I can keep better track of their character and psychological development. I know this post is a bit short, but  I have to dash to my day job now. So long!!!

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day: The Aversion Exercise

For this exercise I want you to think of a character who in absolutely repulsed by something which is considered to be harmless or innocent i.e. handholding, puppies, a child skipping, toy sailboats. Why does your character have such a negative view of something so innocuous? How would their aversion show itself? Would your character become agitated or violent?

Think about that and I will see you later!! If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or just want to vent have a go!! I’d love to hear from you!

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8 Comments

Filed under Characters, Creative, Creative writing, Nanowrimo, Novel Writing, Novels, Plot, Uncategorized, Writing, writing tips

8 responses to “Writing Update and a Bit of Character Work

  1. Thanks! You’ve inspired me through this write. I’ve been struggling to move on with my story, but you’ve reinforced an idea I’ve been mulling over. Good luck with your writing.
    Kathleen

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  2. When my characters get stuck, so do I. Writing fiction, I’m often the stage manager, writing down whatever the actors are doing onstage. When action grinds to a halt, sometimes I have to intervene. Other times one character blurts something out that provokes a big reaction from someone else — and off we go!

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  3. Ellen Morris Prewitt

    I am so impressed that you undertook this re-imagining of your main character. So much work. It’s an inspiration.

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    • It did take a lot of work and it did slow my process down, but I was so stuck as far as character development that it was either do a re-write or scrap the whole project. I had already put a lot of working into it and I would have felt like I was letting myself down if I gave up before I tried everything. I am so glad I did because it seemed that the re-write was exactly what I needed!!!

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  4. I feel you on the difficulty of completely re-writing a story to be in a different perspective – come draft V of my WIP, I changed from third person omniscient to first person. Am changing. It’s a real project, eh?

    While I might normally suggest refraining from re-writing your whole story just to get to know a character better – awful lot of re-working that might not be beneficial to do something that can be done in simpler ways – it seems that you are right about the new format being nothing but beneficial for your story. The diary-letter idea sounds perfect. Good luck with it!

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    • Have you ever tried reimaging your WIP as a play/movie? I first got serious about writing in a playwriting class in high school so some times when I’m a bit jammed I write what I think a particular scene would look or sound like on the stage/screen. It’s a neat way to bolster both the visual elements of your WIP and also it helps you to see if your dialogue is as clear as it needs to be.

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      • Sometimes when I’m having high success in writing pure awesome – rare occurrence – I do imagine it as a screenplay as I write.

        Hadn’t thought of trying to imagine it that way when it’s really hard. That would probably be quite helpful. Thanks 🙂

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