My Mid-winter Kick in the Pants challenge is going a lot better this week than I’d expected. Despite not getting any writing done at all on Monday or Tuesday, I hit my weekly goal of 5,000 words this morning.

I’m really happy with the way my story is coming along, and the depth I’m getting in both my characters and the conflicts I’ve created for them. One of the tools I use is an article created by Laurie Campbell about interviewing your characters. It really lets you get into your characters’ heads and examine their flaws and their strengths, delve into their relationships past and present, and what they like and dislike both about themselves and their love interest. I think that really helps add depth to your characters. And I do love a story whose characters are more than two dimensional cardboard cutouts.

I often pull the interviews out and fine tune them once I’ve written a couple of chapters and gotten to know my characters better and amaze myself at some of their answers.

So how do you get to know your characters? Do you plot them out beforehand? Or do you just let them reveal themselves as they face the obstacles you throw at them? And what flaws or strengths are you just tired of seeing?

Kick in the Pants and getting to know your character
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4 thoughts on “Kick in the Pants and getting to know your character

  • February 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Well done on those goals, Leah!!
    I hope your mom comes to terms with your dad’s illness. It must be so hard on her — and all of you! Sending hugs and good vibes 🙂

  • February 3, 2008 at 6:02 am

    I knew you’d meet your goal.

    I guess I’m just a pantser on that as well. I try to figure out everything about my plot and my characters ahead of time but usually I have to just let them go and show me who they are.

    They problem with that is they don’t carry me through every situation so I turn to some kind of tool to help me through the sticking points. This might be a good tool to try.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • February 4, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    glad to hear the writing is going well

  • February 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    That is awesome on your goal, Leah!! I do a lot of work on my character, trying to learn each of their layers before I write the story. I don’t interview, but I keep thinking I should try that some day.

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