Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Importance of Knowing Your Characters

One of the most important things in writing is to know your characters.  This means that  you need to know you character like you know your friends, your significant other, or yourself.  When placed in a certain situation, how would you react?  How would your friends react?  Your character must be real enough and developed enough in your mind that you can answer the following question:  How will my character react, and what will he do? 

A writing colleague of mine was having trouble one day getting her character to the point in the plot she needed her to be.  We determined that she was trying to make her character get to a certain point, when what she needed to do was manipulate the circumstances in her book so that the character would choose the path she wanted her to go.

I feel that this technique of allowing your characters to choose their path (albeit one you have manipulated) is essential to good writing.  If your writing is mainly plot driven it can be a good story, but if you have characters who remain true to who you have made them and combine that with an intriguing plot, then the story will be doubly engaging, and ultimately more real.  

Today's Topic:  What does the word "diet" mean to you?

Just do it write now.