I am so excited about my WIP, which is a fantastical thing.
The fact that I'm excited, not the WIP. Necessarily.
It's a full blown high fantasy, full of magic and mystery and milk. Milk? Yes, milk. Actually, no, there's no milk, but "milk" starts with "m" and I was looking for another m word so I just stuck with that. What even is this paragraph?
This WIP presents a lot of firsts for me. I've been learning so, so much while writing and these characters have been stretching me in ways I didn't think was possible. I've realized that a lot of my characters are copies of each other as well. And it's not just me--I've come to realize this is how it is in most books. Even in books where we're lucky enough to come across a unique MC, the supporting characters all fall back into either black or white. Or vice versa. Unfortunately, people are neither black or white; our personalities are millions of shades of gray. There is so much originality in our world!
I've been working really hard on communicating that originality. I've been focusing a lot on the speech and reactions of certain characters. Also, I've been working hard on withholding information. In the movie The Lady in the Water (really bizarre movie, never watch it), there's a character who is a film reviewer or something like that. After coming home from a movie premier, he says that the movie was terrible because everyone walked around and said what they thought.
That really struck me. I'm an extrovert, and I definitely say what I think a lot...but I probably don't communicate fifty percent of my thoughts. Characters are really two-dimensional (if not even one-dimensional) when there is no distance between mind and mouth.
My MC is definitely more introverted than extroverted. That's been weird to write, because usually I write extroverted MCs. However, writing an introverted MC has taught me a lot. One, I can't rely completely on dialogue to tell the story. Dialogue is one of my biggest strengths, but a lot of times, I let it overpower my descriptions of the setting, body language, etc.
My dialogue has improved even more, though. I also had the realization that all of my characters talk similarly. Again, not realistic!
There is a large cast of characters in this WIP, and I was worried about making them all the same. Additionally, I was concerned that they would all just get lost and my readers wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them or remember them.
I've fixed this by the different things that they say. For example, I have one character who says everything twice. I have another one who never speaks besides when spoken to, another who asks a million questions, and other one who just talks constantly to fill the silence. Of course, these are general, but I've fleshed them out more in the story (as you'll hopefully see some day!) I've found that it's important to figure out how the character expresses himself verbally in the stages of pre-writing character development.
So! My mind is full of different characters, plot points, and great motivation for writing. Unfortunately, life has been absolutely crazy, so I haven't had as much time to write as I would like. However, I'm inching closer to completion...one word at a time.
What has your writing been teaching you lately?
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