Writing Fear #1: Characters

Good day to you all.

I hope you are all well and having a good week. It’s Wednesday and its hump day, so there is two reasons to be overjoyed. 

I guess fear may be the wrong word to use but it isn’t entirely untrue. When I sit down, there are always some concerns that spring to mind. Am I in the right mindset to write is one of them. Another, is if I am, which characters will be present and taking up my precious writing time?

I am a fan of a story filled with plentiful characters, different in their own ways, similar in others and all with their own goals and ambitions. In my current story, I have three different main lands, separate ideals and values and over ten characters all vying to be named as the MC. 

This is where I occasionally hesitate and have a few concerns. I worry that the characters will sound too generic and similar, using common phrases and not being their own person. I am thankful that the majority of the time, the words and stories seem to write themselves, the characters saying things that I had not planned and acting in ways that shocked me. Sometimes, they turn the whole story upside down. 

Whenever I feel really really tired or uninspired, my writing feels as if it is being forced, so I sit back and read it. Many times I think it’s plain or not common for the theme of things and take a rest, other times I feel reinvigorated and continue with my writing. 

I try my best to alter the language of characters, picking up their own lingo as many of us do in reality and add unique traits. Sometimes there will be characters that are similar which I am not too fussed with, as many of us can be alike too. 

I still have the fear though that many will read it and see that the story is one dimensional and dislike the characters. I have no way of overcoming these but by offering support from beta readers and others who are willing to help. Sometimes, over editing can be a killer.

I now try to make a list of traits shown by the characters, their favourite things and sayings and then stick to these through out. Once the first edit is done (currently way off), I plan to leave the story to marinade with the air and wait to revisit it with a fresh set of eyes. Hopefully then, I will spot errors and inconsistencies which I can make amends to. Something I have not tried in the past but may be willing to try is to have two types of edits…the story and plots, then read it but only focusing on the characters themselves. Not too sure how this will work but I it may be worth a try. 

This is the first post of my fears or concerns I will be writing about. There is no one way to write, or to overcome fears or to even edit, but I hope if there is anything you take out of this, that  it is there always some type of issues we need to overcome. Together, writers can become stronger.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. 

Do you have a similar concern around characters? Or a different one? How do you overcome these? I would love to hear from you, either on here or Twitter (Nobodyetall). 

Have a great day.


17 thoughts on “Writing Fear #1: Characters

  1. My problem is when a character is just having far too much ‘fun’ in the narrative and takes over the whole thing thus evolving a certain invulnerability, physical, emotional and intellectual. Since I write fantasy I then have to either go back and re-write on bring down a very large apocalypse on them to bring them down to earth (some times literally)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. That is an interesting thing that I’ve never thought about. That has made me think if any my characters have ever done that and need to be brought down a little. Thank you for the insight. Means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to have helped. That’s what I like about WordPress, everyone helps everyone else.
        I just had a great insight from some concerning my own current project which has set up all sorts of possibilities.
        I find here that Writing is also a community.
        All the best with your work

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love developing characters- I’ve never really thought about it before, but I think it is the aspect of writing that comes most naturally to me when drafting.

    Now, I can definitely ease your concerns. Your characters are not 2d or flat! I read a lot of characters and I can still remember Fer and Jest!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Developing characters is one of my favourite parts, but it can also be very difficult. I always go into my stories, trying to understand even my most minor of characters, to make sure I know where they’re coming from, even if my reader never discover the extent of their backstory that I know.
    I wouldn’t be too worried if I were you, though. Each of your characters in Siblings felt like real people with their own issues, ideas and personalities. Whatever your doing is working, so keep at it πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Character development is one of my favourite parts, but I can see why you’d worry about it. Great characters can save a slow plot, but it can’t work the other way around so your characters need to be spot on! Writing down a few of their traits is definitely a good idea, and will help you keep consistent. That’s why I started filling in character questionnaires! They take a while (entirely my fault for making mine 35 questions long) but it’s worth it, and often my characters develop in surprising ways while I’m doing that.
    Your characters in The Siblings definitely didn’t feel underdevolped! I’m looking forward to seeing more of them πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel the same about my characters, especially since I have over 100 in my series alone. I do love developing characters, but I’m afraid they’re one dimensional or I might make them too similar.

    I tend to develop my characters as I write the story. It works best thus way, so I can learn their voice etc. Also, I have separate documents for each of the main characters with questions I answered for them as well as their back stories, and appearance. One other thing I love doing is developing back stories for each character. It helps me to shape them into who they are better than if I didn’t. For minor characters I usually don’t bother.

    Liked by 1 person

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