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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Character Problems

It happens. You're writing a story and then the character goes out of control. You lose track of where they are in the story. They no longer want to walk the path you intended fof them. Sometimes this can be a blessing in disguise, but other times, it becomes a writer's block. 

I've been having trouble with this lately, so I decided to find some tips to get me back on track. 
Here's what I've found:

1. Observe your favorite characters from other stories. 

         Chances are that their goals, wishes and characteristics speak to you in some way. Are they          complex? What do you like about them. Is there a story you see behind the scenes? Sometimes reading or watching a favorite story can help you continue writing your story. 

2. Write from that character's point of view. 

        If you're writing in any other point of view than the character's, it's difficult to see things as they see them. What do they want? Who are they? Do they have goals? Sometimes tapping into a character's head can help you understand why they have gone of course in your story. 

3. Interview your character/ Make a character profile

        It may seem silly, but what's their favorite color? What's their deepest fear? What do they want?Some of these questions may bring the answer you need to move forward with your story. It may not seem important to you as the writer, but the details of a character matter to them and help them stand out from any other character in your story. 

4. Make a collage/playlist for your character

        This is a great way to discover your character's emotions. What would inspire your character? What would they be interested in? Find out what makes your character special or important. Why should the audience care about them?

5. Reread what your character has done or said

       Do they say what they mean? Does their dialogue reflect who they are? Do their actions portray the type of person they want to be? What makes them human? Relatable? Empathetic? Do they change from chapter one to chapter 20? Are they consistant and "in character"? 

6. Put yourself in the character's shoes

       What would you do in their situation? Would they act the same way or different? Pretend you are the character and the story is actually happening to you. Wohat goes through your head? Your heart? Would you accept the role your character has? Would you choose a different role? Why?

Hopefully these tips will help anyone who (like me) is stuck with character problems. The important thing is to never give up on your character, sometimes they know the story more than you do.  

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