Starting with Characters

So, as mentioned in my previous post, authors often state how important they feel it is to develop characters before ever starting to write.  A scriptquack article says, “It should be impossible to know anything substantial about your story before you’ve defined the character that will be driving it.”

I have been playing around with a new story and characters for a couple of weeks.  It’s funny, because I had an original story line in mind, but when I started to flesh out the characters, the narrative really began to evolve.  The inner goal I have for the protagonist is the same, but everything else is changing, and for the better!  As I get to know my new characters, I keep clarifying their personalities and quirks and thinking of new scenes, dialogue, and subtle ways to reveal them.  It’s fun.  I like this part of story planning, and I consider it writing, even though I am rarely actually “writing” at this point, save scrawling down notes throughout the day.  I really should invest in some little notepads to plant around the house and in the car, because I frequently find myself scribbling on receipts and other random paper scraps.  Soon I hope to begin piecing the myriad paper scraps and ideas together to outline this story!  I’m already laughing at some of the images and scenes, so I think it’s going to be good.

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