WHEN CHARACTERS DON’T SPEAK

For the past 11 days, I’ve been working to plan my story for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) so that I can start out strong on November 1. This will be the seventh year I have participated.

BUT, today, my planning has come to a screeching halt.

As a writer, I usually find that my characters talk to me and tell me their story. I thought that Drake was telling me his story, but it felt that I was forcing the issue. Forcing Drake to talk when he really wasn’t ready to tell his story.

While I was sitting at a local writers’ gathering today, I found that a different character, Kelsey, was begging me to listen. To tell me her story so that she can inspire others. Inspire them to do what I don’t know yet. I just know that she pulled up a chair in my interview room. She’s waiting for me now to pull out a character interview sheet and write down her story.

So, when I interview Kelsey, I don’t mean that I will be talking to a real live person. Instead, I’ll be talking to someone who exists in my own imagination. It’s much like when I was a kid and walked to school. I talked to the one or more people who walked with me. Yes, they were imaginary. No, I don’t think anyone saw me who cared.

Tomorrow, I will change my NaNo plan and interview Kelsey.

BASIC INFORMATION

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Birthday
  • Parents
  • Where she lives
  • Siblings
  • Married

PHYSICAL INFORMATION

  • Hair color/style
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body structure
  • Clothing style
  • Eye color

MORE IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

  • Likes/Dislikes: subject in school, sport, book, movie, music, color, food, car, season, etc
  • Hobbies
  • Career/Job
  • How do you de-stress?
  • Goals
  • Bad habits

These are only a few of the questions I try to ask my characters as I plan to write a piece.

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