All writers have their own formula to getting a story where they'd like it to be. In my book, characters are the most fun to calculate. Although I have never finished a novel (bear with me), each story I begin ends up including characters I wished to live like. I believe I'm creating characters that live inside me, who I can only be on paper. Which leads me to believe: Every character you've grown, or will grow, will have pieces of you that you may have not known existed. Though, how they are grown matters.
I believe it's good for a writer to have a writing method because: 1. You will learn your strong and weak points at approaching your character (or even setting) and 2. After improving your writing style by using your method, you can develop more as a writer by trying different methods. Writing's all about exploring, isn't it?
Lets pretend we have a character in mind, with specific descriptions that affect our story. My first thought is what is known as the first step from my method:
- Understand your character
Through the years I have noticed a pattern in my characters. They are not who I am, but who I strive to be like, day by day. They are the Joan of Arcs: brave and forceful, the Martin Luther King Jr.'s: honest and hopeful, the Anne Frank's: witty and aware, and so fourth. I make these characters strong willed people because every single one of us has the choice to become that way and it's so easy to shrink to the level of fear and hesitation. But we all don't feel that powerful, do we? If I were to write about someone who lived like we do (on a non-perfect planet and human), I would imagine there being flaws in my character.
Regardless of the genre you've chosen, your characters must fit into the puzzle you're designing. It makes sense when your character's a loner in high school, who's considered the class "nerd" and gets picked on. It's convincing when you find out why he's a loner, where he comes from, and how 'life' is represented. So without further ado, step two:
- Consider your reality
My third, and last step, to my method is more to help the writer with the character. So we've got our character mixed with an established setting and our story's unraveling, but we freeze. We're all searching for a great story to discover and evolve in but controlling the story isn't as easy as it looks. Maybe you're like my blogger friend Jolene, unsure how to end a relationship, or like my other blogger friend, whom I call Mask, wondering if chapter two should be split up to understand the characters and setting better. There's so many examples, as I'm sure you're nodding your head to decisions you're facing. Which leads my point to step three:
- Let your conscious be free