In an earlier posting I talked about your CHARACTERS. Let’s revisit it. Think about your favorite story or book. What is it you remember about it right off? Is it the plot? Or is it the Characters? If you’re like me the Characters pop up first. In Steve Berry’s great novels Cotton Malone is my best friend. Once he wrote a book or two without Cotton—and his fans raised a stink. Cotton is back! My own running character is Amos Mead. I can’t imagine writing a book without him—much to the chagrin of my publisher who is asking me for another kind of book at the moment—which I’m dutifully writing and will be back to Amos in a jiffy when completed.
Why did I ask you about characters who stand out to you? Because too many of you focus on the plot of your story with too much emphasis, pushing your characters into the foggy corners of memory. Look, the fact is about all stories have already been written in one form or another. What’s going to make your story stand out above the rest? Your CHARACTERS—those imaginary friends of yours who actually write the story for you.
So as you write your story, focus keenly on your characters. Your protagonist—that hero—and your antagonist—the villain—even the folks around the edges of your story who don’t get a name but are important to your story are what makes your story unique. The story has been told before—but not with your characters and the twists and turns they bring to how you tell it.
So put the light on your characters, bring them alive, live your story through them and listen as they tell it to you.
Enjoy your week and all of the preparations you’re making for the coming holidays.