Listen to your characters.

                                                               Shy from peruisay

At times, I find that I struggle to see where the plot is going, or how a character is developing. It’s at these moments that I have to take my head out of the notebook, or move my fingers away from the keypad, and listen to what the characters are saying.

To listen to them means that I let them make decisions, surprise me and develop twists in the plot. If they are intriguing me then they’ll hopefully do the same to the reader.

When I listen to them, I can hear their individual voices and hear how they speak. What phrases or words do they commonly use which makes them stand out? Do they hesitate when they speak? Do they have a booming voice, or do they utter words in whispers?

If a character lacks the ability to grab me – and so also the reader – I need to allow them to show me the way to develop them. I need to take them out of their comfort zone, to make them respond to a situation in a way that can perhaps shock me.

I sometimes free-write (a previous post in this blog talks about free-writing) and let a situation with the characters develop of it’s own accord. Currently, the male protagonists has shown a softer side to his character which I didn’t think he had in him. Hence, a scene has developed which I hadn’t foreseen, and I hope it has the same affect on the reader.

When I just sit and think, the characters can talk to me – so having a notepad handy is always wise. I need to give them the space to talk and to guide me, as a lot of the time I’m dictating what happens and where they go. I hope that if  I can hear the voice of a character, then so can the reader, and after all, that’s want we as writers want, isn’t it?

Happy New Year to One & All & Happy Word Flow.

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