One thing that I have found to be one of the more difficult hurdles in writing is having something to write about. I’m currently trying to work through a part in my work that rather dull. That is a bit alarming to admit when I’m the one writing it. Any lull in the story can have readers forgoing the rest of the story. It’s nice to know that I can see where there is a problem and attempt to fix it, but the larger problem is that I’m not sure how to proceed with the story from this point on.
I know that if I had an idea of what the characters’ intentions were I would be able to lay down a rough plan of action for getting out of this dull zone. However, not knowing what my character wants to do next is a far more concerning issue because it says something about my understanding of her. Or rather, it shows my lack of understanding. The reason for being stuck is because I have a character who I don’t fully understand, and this is ultimately creating this struggle in my writing.
One of my creative writing teachers (who shall go unnamed, but not unloved) was always pushing me to delve deeply into the motives of my characters. I was supposed to understand them better than I understood myself. I had to know they backwards and forwards. I needed to be aware of every habit and thought this character had, and understand why they were acting as they did.
Meaning, I need to go back to the drawing board for a while and scribble away at this character until I understand her better. The more work I put into my characters the more I understand them, and the more rewarding my writing becomes. My characters are just people, and I love understanding what makes people tick.
So, if you ever find yourself stuck on something, sit down and have a nice cup of coffee with your character. You can literally do this if you want, but you might find you’re just talking to yourself, and you’d have a few extra cups of cold coffee sitting around. It may take some time, but no one ever said writing was a quick process, and your character will be a much more developed and complex character by the time you’re done.
Happy Tuesday, everyone.