Thursday, 30 January 2014

Character Development

Hey all,

It’s been a pretty solid few days of writing for me. I got over my odd want to draw and have returned to the keyboard/pen for a fairly healthy few sessions of word-crafting. It’s been one of those rare times where I have little to report on the stuff that I’m actively working on because it’s going so well. One thing I have been noticing, though, is a… lack(?) of follow-through in some of the character development in Dreamstate II—I’ll explain.

As everyone knows, a story needs some sort of character development or it just winds up reading as flat. For the most part, it needs to be a graceful slow change in a character’s personality or it comes off as fake and forced. This is done through various events that impact the character’s outlook on life and their beliefs—blah blah you all know this. As you can then assume, if something happens too quickly or without any real (plot driven) reason, stuff comes out a bit weird. I’ve read books and watched films where the changes happen very quickly, and I know it’s because the writer is pressured to make it happen. I can accept it as part of the world, because I have to, but it’s still clumsy work even if it technically functions to explain a change in personality. Slower, more organic changes are far more impressive and real to me (oftentimes spanning multiple books if necessary).

I bring all of this up because I’m finding some of the changes in my characters didn’t quite happen as quickly as I wanted and right now I’m fighting the urge to slam them to the point where I need them to be. It would work, but to do it right I’m going to need to drop back and smooth out the transition by adding in a few extra scenes that push whomever to where I need them to be. It can be tricky, at times, getting everything just right—sometimes, over the ever increasing number of months of writing, I can lose sight of just exactly where I am with every character, and I end up here. Most of my people have worked out just fine, but there are one or two that need a bit more work. It’s part of the pre-editing process, which I’ve been focusing on a lot recently, I know, but this is a bit different (more interesting?) than the usual jibber-jabber I chat about here.

Also, just a friendly reminder, From Ash will be free for 24 hours starting at 12am February 1st, so get it while you can!


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