Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Analyzing My Characters

Grr...blogger is really driving me up the wall not letting me upload my pictures.

Anyway, she says through gritted teeth, I started rethinking my contemporary yesterday. I looked at my outline to determine what I needed to cut or blend to try and pare it down to 70-75,000 pages. At first I thought, no problem, I'll just cut out a few elements and ...oh crap. I forgot how I like to weave things together. Which meant pulling out one element messed up about three others. Hmm...apparently this isn't going to be anywhere near as easy as I thought. As if writing a much shorter length than I'm used to wasn't going to be enough of a challenge, I now have to almost totally revise my plot to make it work.

I decided this morning that maybe I needed to sit down and really look at my characters. Who were these people, what did they want to accomplish, where had they been. One of my critique partners, Pam, had recommended
Elizabeth George's book, Write Away. I picked it up at the library. Very good book by the way if you haven't read it. She basically bases everything on character. She has this free flowing character analysis thing where you basically just sit down and write everything you know about your character. And I mean everything. Most of it will never come up in the book you're writing but her process is that if you know it, you know your character and how they will react in any given situation.

Makes sense to me.

So I started first off by trying to rename my character since Paula Eykelhof said Dash just wasn't going to work. I had thought Chase, but halfway through the character analysis the name still wasn't sticking so I switched to Dillon and that felt more comfortable. Funny how a name can do that. I'm not sure I’m completely sold on Dillon yet, but I think a lot of that is just that in my head he's still Dash.

Anyway, I started writing about his background. Messy stuff, but interesting and it fed into what his core need was. But it took about an hour and a half of just flat out writing and I'm only about halfway through. Still, it's beneficial stuff. I think I'm learning things about him and how he reacts to people and situations. I'm not sure I’m getting deep enough though, so I still need to drill down and find out more about him.

Then it's onto Lucy and for the first time, I think the heroine of my book will be much easier to write. I usually identify more with the hero, but Lucy seems to be coming pretty easy to me. I think I identify with her issues a bit more.

I still don't have the whole plot thing figured out. I know some key points, and I have an idea of the story arc as far as the hero and heroine's relationship is concerned. But it's still pretty jumbled and messed up.

More hacking away shall ensue.


Erin said...

I looked at my outline to determine what I needed to cut or blend to try and pare it down to 70-75,000 pages.

I have to be the smartass trying to write "The History of the World, Minute by Minute" or something? *G*

Good luck getting your story to where you need it! ;)

Melissa Marsh said...

I love sitting down and "interviewing" my characters. Lots of great stuff comes out of those sessions.

I wrote a short story with a character named Dillon - it was the dog's name. :-) I like Dillon better than Dash, too.

Dixie Belle said...

Hey. This is off subject but Christian Bale has another movie coming out soon. Harsh Times.

Tess said...

LOL - we chose the same background *g*

Anyway, sorry to hear about the major hacking required for you ms, but I'm certain you can do it.

I have the EG book, only read bits and pieces. Maybe when we're at storage on Saturday I'll be able to find it (ha, ha) so I can give it a more thorough going over.

Kelly said...

Dixie: I know! And Christain Bale is NEVER off topic. He filmed this one before The Prestige. There's another one as well called i think Rescue Dawn based on a true story of a POW during the Veitnam War who escaped. Can't wait.