How Well Do You Know Your Character?

Your main character that is.

Could you answer any question posed them? Could you answer an interview of them? If you know them well enough to do that, then you’re on good ground. You know how they’ll react to most situations, even if it’s not a conscious knowledge.

I can tell you from experience, when you know your character well, they will surprise you. Things happen to them and their reactions may not be your reactions but they won’t let you make them do anything else. If you don’t know your character then you my find yourself struggling with how they interact with people, environment and situations.

My advice? Find a questionnaire, it doesn’t have to be a long one a page or two will do, and fill it out for each of your main characters, anyone who plays a decent size role in your story. Personally, I like the ones with off the wall questions like what does she wear on an average day and what would she wear to a wedding? funeral? etc. They make you actually think about your character and his/her personality. Once you’ve answered a page or two of questions about them you start to get a feel for them, and that makes writing about them worlds easier.

Do you have a favorite questionnaire? Feel free to share the links.

Enter the World of World-Building

There are a billion and a half questions to answer when you start building an alternate reality in which to set a story (or series of them) What does the world look like? What’s the weather like? The terrain? What’s the political system and climate? history?

Most of this won’t go into your story, in fact, unless it’s a long in-depth saga, only a tiny sliver of all this will go into the tale, however, simply knowing it will help immensely in the writing of the story.

Say your main character does something against the law for your world, if you have done proper world building, there’s already some idea of what happens when someone breaks the rules/laws of the world (be that planet, country, city, etc.)  You don’t have to stop and figure it out before you can continue the story.

Why am I talking about this now? Because I’m working on my world and character building for NaNoWriMo, which starts in less than a month. It’s not the most fun part of writing, but it can make things so much easier that it’s worth it. (Especially if this works out to be a series like I’m hoping, world build once, use it over and over and over.)

Have you started your NaNo Prep?

Packing, printing and checking my lists.

That is how I’ve spent my last few days.

I’m pretty sure my printer is ready to walk out and never come back. I’ve been through 2 sets of cartridges and printed in the neighborhood of 500 book handout cards in the last week. I haven’t even counted the number of pages of paper, notes, lists and story.

I’ve packed, checked, and rechecked and tomorrow I will load the truck. I’m excited for the weekend, but more than ready for it to get here already.

I’ll see you at the Festival.