This is a tricky one, and one we’ve struggled with. Creating new characters that differ from one another. Admittedly, during our first drafts, most of the characters lack a bit of personality. They have personality, but sometimes, only the basics of who they are, allowing us to build on them at a later date. Sometimes, it seems to all come together at once.
The reason being of the basic character is because while writing our first drafts, we are so focused on getting the story out, sometimes we neglect the characters. We’ve actually accidentally written a few out and had to go back and put them back into the story. (Silly us, forgetting one of the important people.)
During this first draft, the characters do differ, but they don’t really start taking shape until after the story. We know their general characteristics and sometimes they really do surprise us by what they do. We have to take a step back and go, WHAT? What the hell just happened? Generally, we go with it. It changes the story a bit, but the way we write it doesn’t really matter. Some writers write to an outline, we don’t. Whatever the character does that surprises us, we’re able to go with it, changing the entire outcome of what the story would have been. This is our preferred style of writing. We aren’t saying outlines are bad. They just aren’t for us. We like to have freedom in our writing for surprises to happen. Most of the surprises evolve around our characters. We also feel that by not writing to an outline, we can better avoid the formula that some authors fall into.
We also tend to view our characters as real people. We often put ourselves into situations and say, well, what would we do? I think that’s how our characters really start to develop. We imagine them as real people in real situations. It’s how we allow the characters to really take shape and become their own person. As always, there are similar people to them. It’s a human nature thing. We surround ourselves with people similar to ourselves. We know we don’t go out and seek those extroverts to hang out with when we tend to be introverts. There’s nothing wrong with extroverts, they are just very different from us and we do have a few friends that are. What I am saying is that generally, humans seek out people like themselves. It sort of happens with our characters, too. However, there are situations where you find yourself with people you don’t really know and have to adapt to it. Who knows, great friendships can occur from this. It’s how we ended up with those extrovert friends. They’re great people and great fun. They get us to come out of our shell and realize socializing really isn’t that bad. 😉
We love the way our characters control the story. After all, we, as human beings, control our stories, so shouldn’t it be the same for the stories we write? People can change the world. Look at all the people who already have. We feel that characters should be able to change the general story as well. It’s what makes them real and take shape for the reader.
One of our favorite parts of writing is creating new characters. Sometimes creating the bad guys are the most fun. We even have characters that have no story yet…
So, go out, write, and don’t be afraid to let those people you’ve dreamed up, change things. You’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.