Friday, April 16, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board...

IN THE NEWS: Cases of beer left at landfill too hard to resist. Read more HERE.

Well, as I mentioned earlier this week, I'm taking a characterization class. All is going to pretty except for one character.

I knew I had my heroine down pat. No doubt. I had her goal, motivation, conflict, internal flaws--everything. Perfecto!

But unfortunately my hero has become my..."problem child".

I thought I had his goal and motivation pretty well drawn out, but since this class (and the homework assignments) I'm realizing that I have to dig just a little bit deeper into his character.

I have a partial written so far. And it works for the most part. But then I got a recent critique from a critique partner and I had to laugh. Why? The questions she rose to me were all centered on my hero. My "problem child".

So obviously I haven't quite nailed his character yet. He just needs the slightest bit of tweaking. But I'm so close I can almost taste it.

So here's what I plan on working on today: (courtesy of Camy's class)

Today I'm going to try to uncover his internal flaw.

How?

By doing this: I'm going to play devil's advocate with my hero. I'm going to keep asking him the question WHY until he reaches a point where he has no more answers and he has to unveil an ugly truth about himself.

That's all I'm going to do this morning. Should be interesting. But I am determined to figure him out. Or else. :)

Have a great weekend!

35 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

Hahaa! Have fun with that troublesome man. :-)

Piedmont Writer said...

oh, can you do that for my Tony? He won't talk to me at all and I really need him to. I need to find his motivation for the things he is about to do.

MJFredrick said...

I've actually encountered a similar problem in my WIP, but it's my heroine. I know my hero pretty darn well (though he's not acting like he's thinking and that might be a problem I need to address.) But her....good idea about quizzing her into a corner!

Miss Popular said...

You're making me take a second look at Rick. Maybe he's too good ...

sherrinda said...

Oh I wish I could have taken Camy's class! I'm sure you are getting your characters whipped into shape! :) Good luck with the hero!

Kristen Painter said...

Try bribing him with meatloaf. Seems to work with my husband.

Maria Zannini said...

Just slap that guy around until he tells you the truth. :o)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Oh, you're pushing him up against a wall. Isn't it fun what we get to do with our characters--how we can boss them around.

Hope you get the answers out of him and that he's not like the new James Bond.
~ Wendy

Katie Ganshert said...

Hi to my classmate! How fun that we get to go through this process together. I'm learning loads about my characters. It's interesting to take this class in the brainstorming stage. I started out knowing very little about my MC, but now I have a much firmer grasp on who she is.

I still have to do homework assignment 3 and 4!


In case you're interested, I have a characterization post from a while back that's all about Brandilyn Collins' why method. The link is here: http://katieganshert.blogspot.com/2009/05/getting-into-character-interview-with.html

Laura Pauling said...

Sounds like a good plan. That's similar to what Brandilyn Collins suggest in her Getting into Character book.

Angie Paxton said...

I'm having a bit of the same issue with one of my characters. She's just so slippery. I think I've got her nailed down and then she does some completely outside the box I'm trying to shove her into. Looks like I've got some work to do. Good luck!

Cindy said...

What an excellent way to find more out about your character. I'm still trying to discover exactly why my heroine keeps avoiding her parents so much and why it's so hard for her to spend time around them. But she's not cooperating :)

Stephanie said...

Good luck!!!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Good luck! It's always a fun journey to discover characters, at least when it's all done.

Natalie said...

Isn't it funny that main characters are sometimes the hardest to write? They should be easier, after all they're the ones you spend all the time with. But I have the same problem. I can write interesting side characters with motivations and flaws and everything while my MCs are a little flat. I hope you figure yours out today!

Karen Lange said...

Best wishes with this. I had to chuckle - 'or else' what? I am sure you will get it just the way you want it.
Happy weekend,
Karen

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Way to corner him! Good for you!

Clarissa Yip said...

You'll figure him out. I know you can. Good luck!

Terri Tiffany said...

I like this exercise:) I haven't done this before with characters--think I eventually need work on it!

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Good luck! Asking why over and over again never seems to work for me with my characters because they're very shy most of the time. I have to do a lot of sleuthing.

patti said...

Sounds like a perplexing problem. But with God's help, you can do it!
Patti

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, that sounds like a really great exercise. Good luck taming your problem child!

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Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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