Developing Your Characters: Part 1 – The Want

Developing fictional characters can stray into great detail, from what a character likes to eat, to his favorite color, to ‘does he snore’? I’ve filled out pages of questions about various characters, so much so that I forget almost everything I’ve written, then don’t bother to look back, and write the character as he or she first comes to mind. A problem, I know. I’m working on it.

But there are three main questions, powerful, yet short, which an author should answer for each of his or her characters. In fact, character development might not need to go much further for some secondary characters. Meanwhile, with main characters, keeping these questions in mind while writing will be a great help in giving them their own voices. And the first question and answer is…

*rolling drumbeat*

What does your character want?

Not the little things, like food and shelter. There’s always going to be some things a character needs and others he wants. But what does he really, really, really want? What is always in the back of his mind? What would he give almost everything to gain? Honor? Love? Gold? Salvation? He may not realize his desires narrow down to a single phrase but, once we the authors know what this desire is, we can use it to inspire him, torment him (we’re awful, I know) or change him.

As an extra note for major characters, is what the character wants what he needs? What they want may drive the story to the end where they get it. Or what they want may be wrong or not as important as they once thought and, by the end, they will give up what they want more than anything else for something else they’ve realized is more important.

Or what they want might change.

The character’s desires will drive what he says, does, and how he views the circumstances going on around him.

Keep an eye out next month, for the second of the major question which should be answered for every character, large and small.

MASTERSOFTHESOUND.COM

Pilgrims and Progress

Good day, my fellow pilgrims. Can I call you pilgrims?

Why?

You just had to ask, didn’t you?

Very well. I want to call you something. You’re not a bunch of nameless faces, after all and I’d rather say something other than ‘hey guys’. Besides the term ‘pilgrim’ is fitting, if I say so myself.

*coughs* I do say so. *coughs*

A pilgrim travels, just as we are all traveling. There’s journey involved in writing a book. Or reading one. Or the pilgrimage of life as we pass as strangers and witnesses in a strange land until we reach our final and glorious home in heaven.

*inhales deeply* That was…deep. Also, there’s this song that I like which fits very well.

All right, pilgrims, on to lighter topics.

Who here has seen the trailer for the 2017 Beauty and the Beast, taken screenshots of practically the whole thing, and then made collages of them? *raises hand guiltily* Why does release date have to be nearly ten months away?

Once this movies comes out, I’m seriously going to have to make some new collages for Rose of Prophecy.

But I did say progress in the title of this post, and it’s true.

For starters, I finished the second draft of Scarlet Rose yesterday!

*internal cheering*

This is the first book in my futuristic trilogy called – you guessed it – Scarlet Rose! There’s plenty of work to be done on this book which is very much in progress. The main problems is I’ve so many secondary characters and subplots that they’re drowning out the main character in my story. And yet I don’t want to get rid of anything. *sighs* The troubles of a writer. But better too much than too little, right? Or not. I’m still not sure on that quarter.

Nextly (yes, I made the word up. And I like it. I think I will keep it) I was looking forward to the Rooglewood fairy-tale novella contest which was to be announced in June, only to discover this past week that it has been postponed until next year. While a little disappointed, I have to admit I was also relieved. Selfish, I know. But now I’ve more time to focus on my own novellas.

Speaking of which, Song of the Sword is progressing well. I’ve been getting beta reader feedback and am focusing on clarifying various points which are confusing. And I’ve been planning my launch which is in two months! Where did the time fly? And I’m hoping to have review copies of Song of the Sword ready by the beginning of July! But I’ve got everything written down and the various tasks I need to do deadline out.

And no, it’s not because I’m super organized. Well, actually, I may be super organized. But I can’t relax unless I’ve everything laid out and know what I need to get done and by what time.

I’ve also been preparing a street team. And a Facebook page for said street team. And cool blog buttons. And promotional pictures. You’ll get to see them in a week or two, so keep your eyes open!

Life has been buzzing along at a rapid pace and summer’s heat struck with a vengeance this week. The relation between life and myself can be summed up accurately by this gif…with life, of course, being the cat who’s completely relaxed and without a care in the world:

On that note, anyone seen HOME yet? Because it’s adorable. And such a different take on a common story line of aliens invading earth…

What do you think, pilgrims? Do you accept the title I’ve given you? Also how do you prefer to write: starting with too much information and clipping, or having too little and being forced to add more? How are you dealing with summer’s heat? And, most importantly, what do you think of ‘nextly’ becoming an official word?