July question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?
Personal Traits & Deepening Characters
Currently writing a romance series of seven novellas, I’m starting the first draft of the fourth novella, Buried Hearts.
Because I’m writing the last first drafts of the last six before any more are published, it meant plotting the stories and creating the characters all at the same time.
Seven couples, seven romances, seven stories, with either the hero or heroine, if not both, all went to school together. Most were in the same graduating class, with two of them a class ahead of the rest. Some are best friends, some dated in high school, some wanted to date the other in high school but didn’t.
In Buried Hearts, Clint Anderson, a life-long resident of Laurel Ridge where all the stories take place, is giving a fiftieth wedding anniversary party for his parents and has hired balloonist, Gabriella (Gabby) King. He gets to know Gabby during the flight with his parents, and he’s smitten.
A long time ago, I learned when developing strong and interesting characters, I need to go deep. Down into the dark where their secrets are hidden. Secrets they haven’t talked about and feel ashamed to let others learn.
I learned that those secrets, those wounds drive that character. That secret determines how they act, what they do, what they wish for. Because I know all these things before I write word one, I’ve become a monster plotter.
Because all seven novellas take place within the same time period, I’m now in the process of plotting out their events on a monster spreadsheet. Did I tell you how much I love spreadsheets?
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!