Thursday, July 2, 2009

Know Thy Character

Here's yet another way writers are strange.
(I can't speak for ALL writers, but I'd imagine it holds true for most. At least I hope it does.)
When out and about, I'll often think about if a character would like an item or not. Or a movie. Or a landmark in London, for that matter.

Would Andy Lomenpille wear that jacket? Would Jeremy Strache be interested in the magnificent decor, paintings and statuary at St. Paul's Cathedral in London?

Perhaps you've found yourself doing it. Would Huck Finn want to ride a 10-speed bicycle? Or would he deem it too much work? Does Jim Hawkins like potato salad? If so, what kind? I don't know either. And unfortunately, we can only speculate.

You could consider it insane to have such thoughts. But I'd disagree. It's quite productive as a wonderful exercise. Characters surely don't always hold the same opinions as the author. So it's a fun challenge to get into their heads and personality further. And if it's done while writing the/a book the character exists in, so much the better. How can it be insane to know the ins and outs of someone who is supposed to seem like a genuine person? As a reader, wouldn't you prefer that those being read about have a reality to them? You know, the old adage "well rounded character."

So, I'll continue to pose queries about my characters to myself. Since those I can answer.

And yes, Jeremy is interested in St. Paul's Cathedral. But he'd quickly be bored of it.
Andy would like it, too. But then, Andy's just pleased to be anywhere.
Thom, on the other other hand, doesn't see the need for such opulance when simplicity will do.

Keep imagination alive.

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