Now we’re going to get inside our character’s heads.
It’s a dark and scary place. Be not afraid. You are not alone.
are many ways to do this. Wine or Whisky is probably involved. But we
won’t get into that...ahem....we’ll simply discuss two different ways of
getting our characters to let us know who they are.
most basic way to do this is, of course, an actual character interview.
I was given a great one of these by mshatch. But couldn’t get it to
link. However. A quick google search yielded up several other options. This Character Interview seemed to be pretty decent.
Now. Keep in mind. Not all of this information needs
to be revealed in your story. Remember what we talked about, and worked
on yesterday? And maybe your character doesn’t want the world to know
that his deepest desire is to have 17 puppies and live on a small island
in Puerto Rico, rather than fighting dragons off the white cliffs of
Dover. His battle buddies would give him a world of shit.
should be looked at as counseling sessions. Just between you and your
character. Yes. Some of it will make it into your story. Some of it is
very relevant. In fact, in reality. For you, the writer, it’s all very
relevant. You need to know this character as well as you know yourself.
How else are you going to write their reactions believable? If you don’t
crawl inside their heads and reside there, your readers are never going
to believe that that character is real. Which in turn makes the whole story and plot unreal.
other way is more an exercise in word play and getting to know your
characters. All in one! A while back I stumbled on a ‘thing’ people were
doing in the poetry field called Six Word Bios. Interesting. Not easy.
Every word counts when you only have six. The only problem I personally
have is that I end up with a lot of adverbs and adjectives. For example.
My personal six word bio:
Culinary: Indescribably painful yet beautifully fulfilling.
does say what I want it to say. But is there a better, less adverb-y
way? Probably. For me, though, the point of this exercise was to get
down to the bare bones what I needed to say. What did I want to say
about my self? How do I get across to my reader the experiences I had in my brief career, how do I condense it down?
is why you really need to know your characters. Are you able to get
this up close and personal with them? Do you know enough about them?
This was just one aspect of my life. I could have chosen others to write
nothing else, this exercise teaches you how to rethink what you may
consider to be an important word. It helps you to really consider what
it is you’re trying to say.
free to post any Six Word Bios, for yourself or your characters, you
may come up with! I would love to see them! As you can see...the adverb
thing is a challenge for me, and I would love to see if you can overcome