If you worry that the characters in your novel seem one dimensional or that they all look and sound alike, then I have a question for you. How well do you know them? I mean really know them, inside and out? Particularly your lead character?
A good way to figure that out is by examining the character’s dialog and how comfortable you feel when writing it.
You’re flying along churning out page after page of your novel, when suddenly you find yourself stuck like lint to a lint brush. No matter how much you try, you can’t shake yourself loose. You can’t get a decent thought on the page for anything. Eventually you give up trying. You’re frustrated, puzzled, worried. What the heck is going on here?
One of the biggest challenges you face as a novelist is creating believable characters that don’t all look and sound the same. Besides the usual character worksheets that can help with this, here are some quick tips and tricks that I’ve used over the years.
If you’re a woman I’m sure you remember listening to your parents read or tell you fairy tales about the beautiful princess riding off into the sunset with her charming prince and living happily ever after. Although we’ve come a long way since the days when I was a kiddie, many girls still get their pretty little heads stuffed with these fairy tales in one way or another.
Do you know what the biggest obstacle is to finishing that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing? YOU! A thousand things are going on in your life that you have to deal with day after day after day–the spouse, the kids, the job, errands, the blues, etc. And you can’t put any of that aside–or so you think.
Where do you write? I get asked this question a lot. It used to puzzle the heck out of me since it was something I never gave much thought to when I wrote my first few novels. I lived alone and had an office in my house. I simply sat down at my desk and wrote. What was the big deal about finding a place to write? I wondered.