shaking hands with new characters

13 Apr

or: Getting Punched in the Metaphysical Face By Unanticipated Angst (And Why the Second Title Is Better)

So, I can’t claim to have written entire books like Brooke and Sarah, nor can I say that ‘I’m the best at what I do, and what I do’ is write. (I will draw something quick’n’scribbly for whoever gets that reference). I can say that I can write, and that the characters are easy.

I’m sorry, I’m currently laughing myself off my brain stem. That’s a huge pile of ‘no, say truthful things now’. Characters are weird. And crazy. They are so crazy. Like, you have this second (or whatever) person existing in your head and you don’t even really know who they are.

So you introduce yourself, shake his/her/whatever hand/paw/talon/whatever; that is to say, you kinda figure out how you think your character works. And then you, or I, start writing.

Now, I haven’t written seriously in far, far too long, but my most recent bout was roleplaying. Sarah can attest to this experience, as she was participating as well. Our characters were interacting. My character was supposed to be bubbly, generally happy, and immediately helpful to the situation.

That did not happen.

At all.

Here’s what happened:


That is my character, as you may have guessed. Flinz (my character) did not actually throw open doors and yell about “unresolved angst-ger,” but the effect was the same, and she left angry and Sarah’s character in something of a pickle.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s okay if your characters start one way and end up totally different. They will still be interesting, helpful to the story (probably, that’s up to you), and probably a reflection of some part of your thoughts. Sit down and write them in various situations, be it roleplaying or writing your book or simply silly little scenes that will never do anything besides sit on your harddrive and take up space. Shake their hands, and be prepared for a punch in the face and a reevaluation of that person and the situation.


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