Monday, July 9, 2007

The Checklist of Circumstance

It is well-known to all writers that character development can be difficult, however what can also be difficult is creating character dynamics, in general. Picture it: you just became inspired and you discovered your protagonist for your latest prose piece. You quickly sit down to write, and you come up with a great first page. I mean something exemplary; you truly start off with a bang, and though you are too close to be objective, you can tell that it is good material that properly represents your character and the direction for their journey. But where do you go next as it pertains to other characters?

You just finished a page about your hero/heroine on the tail end of their trip to Calcutta, India, but whom are they coming home to? Should they be married, have children? Should their parents be alive? Many writers absentmindedly choose the relationships of their characters' life, as with a pen and checklist. Some writers do carefully think through the the life circumstances and status of relations in their protagonists' life, but do all really take time to think about what the character would bring to the main character that originally made them sit down to write? I can say that I don't always, and I wonder what's the consensus on that front? Make this post a forum to pique each others' curiosity.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Filling in little details around a central idea has been a problem for me the few times I have attempted to write too. It is probably why I have only written short, very simple pieces. I hadn't thought of making a checklist of background material from which to draw. It might be a good way to come up with ideas enough to finish a story. I would like it to come more naturally, but sometimes one has to force oneself to do things the hard way until, through practice, it becomes more natural.