Getting to know your characters

Is it weird that I have struggled to really come up with a detailed background for my main female character? I have all the basics but nothing really personal. My stalker/serial killer however, I have his entire life story written out. I guess I just kind of feel like with the two characters, I want him to be different than your every day stalker/serial killer character. But I want her to be very average. A normal person who anyone could relate to. There isn’t anything particularly special about her. She’s just there trying to live her life the best she can, tries to stay positive about everything and not let things she can’t change get her down. She doesn’t take anything too seriously. Then this whole ordeal is thrown in her lap and she all of a sudden is having to focus on serious things. She can’t joke her way out of it to make herself feel better. She starts having conflicting emotions about how she feels about what’s happening, how she feels about her boyfriend. She starts to question herself more than she ever has before. She wants to be strong but she can’t be strong all the time. She doesn’t like hiding things but also doesn’t want to appear weak to those around her. Her inner monologue is entirely different from what she is showing  the outside world. I feel very strongly about showing both of these sides of her in this story. I feel like we have two different female roles. The strong female role is always strong and awesome and handles everything right and never questions anything. And we have the weak female role who can’t do anything by herself. I want my character to be strong but I always to show that no one is strong all of the time and that a lot of times, the face we show the world isn’t really what is going on inside us. So, I guess in that sense she will be different than other fictional characters BUT I feel like that also makes her totally normal and relatable. I just want to show how an actual normal person would handle this type of situation. I hope I can do that. I hope I can do her justice and people don’t just hate her because she isn’t a fantasy version of themselves.  Maybe today, I will take a break from the actual book and figure out all the details of her life. What is it about her that makes her so relatable to everyone else? Maybe I could even try and get an artist friend to draw her out for me. I’ll give her a real face so I can better put her in these situations. A face to stare me down and keep me writing. I am always looking for ways to keep me accountable and it never occurred to me to use m y characters. I have just accepted that I will have an imaginary friend until I finish this book. Hopefully people don’t think I am a crazy person.

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Side note: I am still working on reading White Oleander. Slowly but surely making my way towards the end. I did break out the inflatable pool yesterday with the neighbor. Didn’t do any reading but it will definitely be a comfortable place to read in the future if I can get past the stigma of sitting out there alone looking like a weirdo to anyone who drives by…

 

Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter33

 

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Motivation

Everyone has motivations for why they do things. Some people are motivated by money. Some are motivated by popularity. Some people are motivated by good intentions.

When it comes to my writing, my motivation changes from day to day. Some days, I am motivated by the thought of actually getting a book a deal and not working two jobs, living pay check to pay check.  There are also the days where the idea of being a famous author really excites me. Other days, my motivation is to actually finish one thing I set out to do with my life and be proud of myself.

I see all these people living their lives and accomplishing things they set out to do years ago and it makes me feel like a loser. When I started college, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I quickly failed out of that. Then I switched my major to Criminal Justice. I loved my classes and excelled in them. I graduated with that degree with every intention of being a juvenile probation office. I wanted to help the kids who are getting on the wrong paths. I wanted to show them that someone out there cared. I wasn’t naive. I understood that the majority of the children/teens I dealt with would not want my help and would push back at everything I did for them. But I always said, “If I could just help one kid, then it was worth it.” Well after 2 and half years of applying for jobs in my field and struggling to pay my bills being a nanny, I finally gave up and took a customer service job to pass the time while I continued looking. Once a month for another 2 years, I continued to apply for jobs in the CJ field, while I worked. Eventually, I got burned out. I could only be rejected so many times. I finally accepted that it wasn’t what my life was going to be. Every now and then, I look at that and think about how much of a loser I am for giving up on that. But then I think that, if it was really something I was motivated to do, then I wouldn’t have given up. I still work in my customer service job and I actually really love it here. I am good at helping people and making them happy when they are angry. I am good at fixing peoples problems. It also gives me time to write. Writing is the one thing I have always stuck with. I have always wanted to publish a book and I continue to be motivated to it. No matter how many excuses I have, I always come back to it. Sure I worry that when it comes time to get it published, I won’t be able to take the massive amounts of rejection again. But, I like to believe that since this is the one thing I have always wanted that the rejections won’t shake me this time. They will motivate me to keep trying. To prove everyone (and sometimes myself) wrong. To prove I can do this. Even if I don’t become a famous NY best seller. Even if I end up self publishing and the only people who buy my book are my family members. That is all I need. To show myself that I can accomplish one thing I set out to do with my life.

Don’t forget to follow me here and Twitter @Andythewriter33