Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Something weird that works


Today's post is for Young Adult Teen Tuesday, which is hosted by the wonderful S.A. Larsen.

As some of you might know, I am not only editing Doorways. I'm also slowly starting to work on the rough draft of the sequel.

Insanity, some might say, but I believe there's method to my madness.

See, the real insanity would have resumed if I didn't do it. I simply CAN'T wait another two years before continuing the story. I want to know what happens. And I want to know now.

Which would lead me to something really illuminating that I stumbled upon recently.

My crit partner and I let our main characters meet.

Yes. Meet. And interact.

Yep. It does sound weird. But after the initial WTF moments, we discovered that the interactions between the characters form a treasure trove of information.

I think it's because there's no story into which to force them, so they can just hang out, be cool, or not, or do awesome stuff. OR mess up.

And I'm there, making notes.

This is particularly illuminating when it comes to two of my male main characters, because neither of them actually talk to me in character interviews. It ended up that my crit partner and I forced a bunch of them into a room and let them get drunk.

With some VERY interesting results. Half of the stuff I now know about my main characters will never make it into the books, but like backstory, it's something that forms the foundation of their actions and choices.

What weird and wonderful things have you tried in order to get to know your characters?

28 comments:

  1. That's an interesting experiment. Usually I've got a tight grip on my characters, but one of them once wanted to do something that I really didn't want her to do, and she did it anyway. On the other hand, endings that I'm sure of suddenly go out the window when the character gets there - that happens a lot more frequently.

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    1. Hahahaha my characters never let me think that I had the reins on the story. I'm only there to write down what they say. :-D

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  2. What's interesting is that once you changed the perspective, you seemed to have gotten the answers you were looking for. That's a good tip for when you're stuck on characterization.

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    1. Yeah it's definitely something to keep in mind when it comes to writing. If one thing doesn't work, come at it from another angle.

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  3. You have taken creativity to a new level. How fascinating. What a cool idea and I think the idea of letting them get drunk was brilliant. What better way for them to lower their inhibitions and speak freely-just like we do in the real world. Bravo!!!

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    1. I have to give credit to my crit partner for that. She suggested the idea to me because my one character is very good at deflecting off glimpses into his soul. :-D

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    1. And probably a bit more fun than it should be. ;-)

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  5. That's so interesting. What a great idea! It would be incredible to see the kind of interaction going on between the two characters.

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    1. Actually, it's nine characters. Five of mine, four of hers. :-)

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  6. Fascinating! I haven't tried anything overly crazy, but I definitely have written pages and pages of backstory.

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    1. One day I'm going to have to do that, but it keeps feeling like it'll be another book, so I keep postponing it.

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  7. Very interesting. I always thought it would be cool to bring characters from multiple author's stories and have them participate in a type of hybrid story. Perhaps if they all had to join together to save the world.

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    1. I don't think that would work for my and my crit partner's casts. Some of the characters are more likely to smother each other in their sleep.

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  8. That is a pretty cool idea. I have't tried anything quite that unique, though I've caught myself carrying on a conversation with my character. No, not me asking and then answering the questions (lol!!!) but I would provide a prompt or a question and let the character ramble on paper. Some characters can say the darnedest things :-)

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  9. What a great idea! Because your characters drank together and because I just saw Star Wars, my mind immediately went to a slew of characters getting drunk in some far-off planet's bar, where only some speak the same language, thus, charades ensue.

    We're on the same list for the CAMPAIGN! Thought I'd pop over and say hi! Love your background!

    Daisy

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    1. Lol our setting is a bit more boring. My Brits rented a place in her characters' home town. ;-P

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  10. A sequel may also allow you to have some perspective on Doorways that you didn't have going into it. In other words, an idea may pop into your head and then you'll snap your fingers and think...oh I can hint at this in that one scene in Doorways, and tie them closer together.

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    1. And that's especially a good thing when I'm a pantser that doesn't plan everything ahead. :-D

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  11. Sounds like something I should try.

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  12. I love this idea. It gives me warm fuzzies inside. ^^ I wonder if I could do this with characters in my different WIPs. I wonder what Rebbsie would do if she met an angel...

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    1. Hahahaa yeah it's really a lot of fun to see how the characters interact. :-)

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