Gosh – I admit it – as a part-time hack, it seems like it take me forever to ‘get’ things about writing. Take characterization for instance. In the past, I’ve always known what I want my characters to represent, then I let them ‘do their thing’ for the novel. Oh, we’ve been through some things together, my characters and I, it’s true. And ‘being’ with them and seeing them in certain situations has revealed lots of different facets of their character. It’s been organic and I am more the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person. But I can see now I’ve been remiss.
After reading more about characterization, I understand what the problem is – and it’s what I’ve known about any relationship: the way you really get to know someone is by spending time with them.
Well, I’m diving into it this week. Yes, I’m cozying up with my characters in a way I never have before. I can see now that I really need to sit down with them one-to-one. To have those heart-to-heart conversations where I ask them questions about themselves. To put the spotlight on them and probe for information. It’s funny actually thinking about it. I realise the ones I am most looking forward to knowing better are my villains and it makes sense – I understand them the least!
I’ll come back to this later with more and let you know how it goes!