Jan 20, 2010

wtf? Wednesday

So, wtf?  Have you ever gotten in an argument with one of your characters?  I know we all love or hate our characters in some way or another, but have you actually bitched out your MC?  Like, &*@##%$ die you dumb character.  Who ever thought of you anyway?

Then, you realize, Oh, I did.  Good times, good times.  This is where you discover the character flaws in your character.  Not the flaws in them as a person, like we have, the flaws in the sense that the character is not whole, the character is undeveloped.  I looked over my MC's notes, all three pages, and was scratching my head out of confusion.  Minutes later, I was stabbing my eyes out with a pencil.  Okay, not.  I was frustrated though.  The plot was going along smoothly and the character was doing a good job dealing with everything I threw at him.  Then, we hit a wall.

I sat there for hours.  Yes, hours, I am sure you know the feeling.  It took that long to pinpoint the problem: my character was not developed enough to handle the situation I was creating.

I continued looking at my character profile and tried to think deeper than the fact that Scottie is sixteen, wears polos, and has social issues.

Think, think, think.

So, today, Scottie and I are spending some QT together and if we don't come to an understanding, well, I am not afraid to use the delete button.

Edit: So here's an awesome post from Frankie Diane Mallis that touches on all the right spots.  (Does that sound bad?)


  1. Snarf. I've been there. I think I may have a t-shirt, even. I hope he starts cooperating.

    Damned characters.

  2. I've been trying to make my character DO SOMETHING. He just wants to sit and wallow in his crisis. Not good for the tension.

    So, yeah, I'm there.

    Have fun giving him a talking to. (as if that will help...)

  3. Some characters need to be killed. And others need to be born. I often find myself merging multiple people into a single character when revising.

    If you're having a hard time feeling all that is Scotty, I recomend living as him for a day or two. In every activity that you face over the course of the day, ask yourself "How would Scotty react to this?" Then when you throw more complex problems at him in your fiction, you'll have a better idea of how he thinks and feels.

  4. Been there, done that. Hang in there and show Scottie who's boss. Enjoy your QT. :)

  5. I've so been there. I even blogged about one embarrassing fight me and my MC had. Fun times. And yes, I've written death scenes before just to show them who's in charge. ;-)

  6. Now if real people came with a delete button...hmmm....that would be great! : )

    Good luck!

  7. Hold your thumb and index finger out and arrange your hand about four inches from your face so that the person you would like to delete is between them. The, squish!

  8. Sometimes I feel like my characters exist solely to make me argue! Good luck with your QT (and for your comment on my blog- it really perked me up).

  9. ugh - good luck powering through.

  10. Mar - There are an infinite number of reasons why characters are created, but the most frequent seems to be as a debater and/or abrasion. (I am glad that perked you up, it motivated me too, who know I had that in me?)

    Dec - Ugh is one of my all-time fave words, yes, I have face words, and that helped me to power on through.

  11. My MC is only 12 or 13 and she's sweet, so I can't argue with her. My cat, on the other hand....

  12. Oh, kitty...don't forget, you can always resurrect a character if you commit involuntary manslaughter on them. You can also age them with a few words, so she's no longer a sweet twelve year old, but a thirty-six year old deranged psycho.

    Cats only have nine lives.