Writing Musts: Use Your Characters Again

I don’t do this very often. Yes, blog (shush), but also follow up a previous must. In Use Your Characters, I extolled the virtues of being lazy, and by being lazy I mean using the characters you’ve already built up in ways that makes sense for them characters, instead of trying to force a new path through your story.

That’s still true, but there’s more.

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Writing Musts: Use Your Characters

It’s been a while since I’ve bought any books on writing. I still read through blog posts about writing and do flick through the books I have at times, but the seek-advice stage of my writing has passed.

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The Wavering Mind’s Eye

One of the recurring lessons when it comes to writing, and the pursuit of that final draft that becomes something we’d be proud of having published, is that not all sentences start perfect.

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The Character’s Voice

I love my characters. All of them. Even the most hideously twisted souls amongst them, I love them. Whether it’s the protagonist, the antagonist, a love interest, mentor, filler character or random extra, they’re all special. It’s a bit like life.

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Seven Signs Your Characters Will Try To Kill You

Yes, Seven!

I’m not being alarmist. I swear I’m not. At the back of your mind, you, Writer, have always known that there was something off about your characters. You’ve read them over and over, tried to understand what they were doing in your story, but always felt unsettled by their presence. Were you just paranoid? Were you just doubting your characters instead of doubting yourself? Was it all just IN YOUR MIND?

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The Meaningful Bits

Sometimes writing is a slow process. I’ll get one or two ideas stuck in my head, and decide that THOSE are the ideas that deserve my time, at the expense of everything else I’m working on. I’ve been doing bits and pieces for this month’s challenge, and have read the book that I’ll be doing the write-up about, but I’m very preoccupied at the moment. Two things are doing it.

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Anything good can be subverted, and we can find malaise in things that were joyful once. We are acutely aware of our flaws, wearing them as a shield in one moment, and denying their existence in the next. Those we trust could be a breath away from betrayal, and the unexpected moments in life are never a reason to smile; taxing our time, money, energy and patience when each are already strained.

Cynical much?

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Active Characters

Totally mandatory.

An active character is one that takes action with the intent of reaching a goal. They do things because they’re trying to help, or at least do something. They don’t just react to their surroundings, but they attempt to control them.

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Formidable Characters

I’m not methodical after I get my ideas. It could be considered a fault, but I’m content to let the details just come. Sometimes I’ll throw things together with a purpose, but for the most part I come up with a name, which gives me a rough outline of the thing (place, person, etc) and allow the rest to come with the writing. Continue reading Formidable Characters