Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Be Active - #29

The small lesson I learned while brainstorming the past two days: there is more adventure and pleasure in writing a character in action than having everything already laid out.

Seems obvious, right?

Still, I found that this mistake was holding me back. My characters already did X, they already had Y, they already knew Z.

Well, not all of them, but you get the idea. I had nothing for my characters to do, or learn, in the scene that went barreling over the cliff into dullsville.

Until I went back and found where things slowed down. Now, I can get back on track.

For example: If your character has a quirk, don't just have other characters talk about it, or know about it, have the character show the quirk in front of others. Let us see it happen.
If you character has a crappy job, don't just show your character stressed after work, or gripping about work, show them at work in the middle of the chaos.

And this is not just a difference between showing and telling. They were being shown... just not shown doing anything. The characters were not active in their journeys. It was dreadful!

And, of course, the action or emotion that you're taking the time to show should be relevant to the story and advance the plot. Give your characters something to do. Make them active!

Okay. I get that this is all newbie 101 stuff, and is obvious to all of you super talented people out there. But, somehow between classes, writing, and life, I forgot this simple lesson for two and half scenes and it caused me great turmoil for a few days. I do not wish you the same.

Word Count: 302

Happy Writing!

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