A Question of Character

A writer friend of mine attended a weekend conference in Iowa City about character. He wrote to me about some of the activities, and suddenly one of the ideas I’d been working flared into something I had to work on right away.

So one of the plots I’ve been toying with now has a character. I may not be exactly sure what she looks like or what her name is, but I did see part of her world. It also brought me into her mind for awhile, which was more of what I needed to get connected to her.

Because, really, does her eye color, hair color, or even skin color matter just yet? It might not end up mattering at all, unless she becomes green-skinned for some reason. (Or any other outlandish color.)

Sometimes I’m still waffling between how close my third person narration is to my character. Am I going to tell you about that black-haired blue-eyed midget, or will I show you that everyone towers over him?

It’s just interesting to see how the character expresses him- or herself when you get out of the way. I might not think about my natural light brown hair, especially if I get another color – like red – out of a bottle to amuse myself. Some characters might feel that way, and others might feel a sense of loss for their old color. Some may never glance in a mirror at all.

That’s the beauty of characters. They’re unique, with their own stories to tell, and with different personalities to uncover through the story process.

It feels so good to start connections to them again. Getting a lead character might just get that novel project going. Not that I need another novel to work on right now, but maybe it’ll scare Don’t Tell Your Mother into some necessary revisions…

2 thoughts on “A Question of Character

  1. I totally agree with your observations, Ransom. I’ve had an idea for a new book and also have another book in mothballs. I have to get those going soon. Good luck with your writing.

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