Thursday, July 30, 2015

Let "difference" define your ficitonal characters.

Amazing things happen when we let go and follow the direction of our calling. The same thing happens to our fictional characters. This notion leads me to believe that there are destinations to which principle leads us.

This leads to another question, does your character lack character? It's not a twist on words but a real question.  Before you start questioning your character's behavior and motivations, pose these questions and watch the character jump off the page as you practice these techniques.

Does s/he place more  value on position and titles rather than character?

You can probably see how the above question begins to develop personality.  If not keep reading. I will give you a scenario and you can allow your familiar character's to respond.

Your character is walking to the car. Your character see's a bank robbery taking place. S/he see's the license plate of the getaway car but may choose to respond or not get involved.  When questioned, your character may or may not answer honestly.

Now, let this scene play out with one or more of your characters by using the exact same scenery.

For example:

Walter Ennis did not expect this excitement. He did expect he would continue to live by his own motto: mind your own business and look out for Walter. No matter what happened, Walter Ennis stuck to his convictions.

 He was simply walking to the vegetable market when it happened. He could have frozen in his tracks when he saw it but common sense told him to keep walking and to look in the opposite direction.

The bank robber hurried to car. As he reached Walter, the robber hesitated.

Walter continued walking, happy that he had not stared at the license plate. Why should he get shot over someones money. Besides, banks are greedy. They wouldn't donate a penny to his funeral service if he was foolish enough to intervene and get himself killed.

Walter continued along, minding his own business.
Denise saw him. No sooner than the robber fled through the front door. Before the robber reached her, Denise crossed the busy intersection, dialing 9-1-1- as she fled. She turned to the left, made a mental note of the license plate of the robber's car and whispered into the phone. She was compelled to live by her own motto: Do your part.

"Good job," the 9-1-1 operator said.

Denise wondered how someone could not report such a crime. That's the problem, she thought, people are afraid to get involved.

When questioned by the responding police officers, she remembered more details.

"Good job," the officer said to her.

Those words rang in her ears for months: good job.

If others cared to do a good job as citizens the world would be a much better place, she thought...if only people would do their part.