Lately, in lieu of any larger projects to work on, I’ve been working on a few short stories. (I’m sure some people have noticed that as a recurring theme of my blog posts for a while.) My most recent piece of fiction has been dead on arrival, however. Not because of writer’s block (although maybe a little bit because of lack of time). Mainly I’m stumped because I made the mistake of going back to an old character.
The character in question is named Elere (pronounced El-ur-eh, approximately), and she is an alien. Figured it would be a good warm up to come to her since I’m tentatively planning on writing her a sequel as my next novel project. I thought it would be easy. She’s one of my favorite characters to write because she’s the one who “pushed back” the most, forcing me to abandon my own expectations for her and go with what was already there.
Pushback. That’s the word, right there. I should have thought of that.
This character is stubborn, and I knew that, and I assumed I would just get back in her head and go for it. It is not that easy. “Stubborn” is the key word right there. This lady has personality, and refuses to be written incorrectly. (Or maybe that’s just me being afraid of twisting up a perfectly lovely character.) On top of that there’s the snarl of the notes I made for the previous stories to untangle. I need to work on my worksheets, because what I’ve got right now is not at all helpful in figuring out where to start.
So what am I supposed to do about this story?
The answer is quite simple. Like pretty much every other type of writing, I’ve just got to do it. Write the story, get it started and keep up the habit until the day Elere makes sense again. She’s fun to write, and having that motivation is always good. There’s writing from another perspective so a few altered personality details can be attributed to an outsider viewpoint. There’s picking a story that showcases areas where she shines. There’s the opposite tack, where I pick a situation that would force her completely out of anything she’s comfortable with. Anything goes when trying to understand a character.
I’ll get this story written soon! Anyone have inspirational stories about writing their own characters?