Round Robin

Hullo again and welcome to June’s Round Robin which is about Characters. Robin, who sets up these posts, calls it a basic topic. It is a basic topic – but one might also refer to it as fundamental.

You can have the most wonderful plot in the history of fiction writing, but if you have to frogmarch your characters through it – it will not work.

In the beginning

So how do I go about developing them? I listen to their conversations. I used to write plays and for that I would put two characters in a room and listen in. Gradually, gradually, I begin to hear what they think needs saying. Fiction of course needs much more narrative and the conversations have to be embellished by surroundings. A pauper woman in Shoreditch is going to have different things to say about there being no food in the house, from a Duchess in Wiltshire.

Fiction writing also lacks a play producer, so it’s up to the writer to dress the characters. Perhaps that leads on to what the Duchess thinks about her dressmaker and the pauper about the rag-and-bone man.

I do spend time on it, but it is time during the writing process. I may know that my theme demands a type of heroine and a type of hero. As I explore what I want to tease out of the theme, I’m listening to the characters.

…and into maturity

What inspires the process of creating a character? Well, getting the next action or twist right, is very important. When I was writing Mariah’s Marriage, Mariah’s response to the countess’s revelation that Toby wanted to marry her, wasn’t the response I’d thought to type. As I typed, the girl’s reaction crystallised and when I read it over, I realised that the character had spoken and I needed to re-think that part of the plot and what happened next. An altogether satisfactory place to arrive at.

The other participants are listed below and despite having a teen at hand to consult, I’ve no idea why they’re appearing in miniature font. Comments on that or on how you create characters will be most welcome,

Anne

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Plot:Structure:Characters

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Plot, structure characters, but the greatest of these is characters.

I’ve been struggling with a plot glitch for some weeks now and sinking into what’s looking seriously like writers’ block. I could not find a way to write the scene I saw so clearly in my mind’s eye. Why?

BECAUSE THE CHARACTER I HAD CREATED WOULD NOT DO THAT.

That’s why. You (generic writer you) can always tell that the plot is frog-marching everyone to a conclusion when the characters begin to grimace. Then they girn and then they go back into lurk and everything stops.

So why was this? The answer – and I really hope it is an answer- was in the structure. Cart before horse again and I saw it, but I didn’t see it. And now I do. So lots of hard work just when the Festive season is making demands.

Are you a writer? What stops you in your writing tracks?

http://goo.gl/4LWt1H Mariah’s Marriage UK

http://goo.gl/JjY907 Mariah’s Marriage US

http://goo.gl/P3lmzk Bella’s Betrothal UK

http://goo.gl/7mh8FI Bella’s Betrothal US