Like I said last year, resolutions aren’t bad. I just don’t think they are the wisest things to rely upon. There’s nothing magical about January 1st. In fact, starting new habits on that day can undermine their success. After all, it is a holiday. And holidays are the perfect excuse for procrastination. Boom. Automatic failure before even beginning. Continue reading
After spending the week absorbing this amazing book, I had to stop and review The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFeer, and Sue Viders.
I can’t say that I actually read this book from cover to cover, but I jumped all over it,
I love plotting. And I can see a murder scene almost anywhere I go. I know, gruesome! My Precious Redhead and I make a game of it. Should have heard our conversation as we waited in a fast food line next to a car wash. After sunset, the flashing blue lights inside the glassed-in building looked more like a house of horror than a car wash.
But I digress.
My biggest challenge, and my critique partners will back me up on this, is developing deep characters. But I’ve heard some excellent advice on this.
First, from Susan May Warren, I learned to ask my characters what their greatest fear is. Actually, it never occurred to me to actually ask them until I read Shame and Redemption by Bethany Quinn (a character created by Katie Ganshert).
But I have to describe the depth of my greenness. So I jotted down the greatest fears of my characters, and stopped. The thought never occurred to me that I should actually take my characters through their greatest fear. No. I can’t do that to them!
At a DFW Ready Writer meeting (a chapter of ACFW in Dallas/Ft. Worth) Ronie Kendig argued my point. By all means take your characters to those dark places. I got the feeling that unless things hurt, I didn’t go deep enough.
I’m also inspired by some of the terrific stories I’ve read from all three of these authors and the way their characters have unique personalities with things that I like about them and things that I don’t like. (See Reviews on My Foolish Heart, Wildflowers from Winter, and Firethorn)
So I’ve got a place to start with my character development. Only a starting place, though.
What tricks to do you have for peopling your stories? How do you make them all distinct?