Saturday, January 21, 2012

Psychology and Writing

So I read this really interesting article today about what drives your character in a story, like their deep down thoughts, regrets, fears and morals. I write out a character outline for each of my characters before or as I'm writing and I include a few things like fears, basic personality, family all that kind of stuff but I realize after reading this article that I never really delve that deeply into what drives them and the like.

It mentions that you should find your characters primary overarching goal, along with their basic goals, this is part I'm usually very null on until the story reveals it to me. Otherwise I just draw up a blank.

The next big thing is covers is fatal flaws, those things that if your antagonist figured out could do serious damage to your character with. Their little insecurities and stuff they try to hide. It's interesting that they cover this because as with their goal I wait for my characters to reveal it to me and they usually don't, or if they do it's very vague.

When it talks about strengths and how the author of the article believes that the best villains have admirable qualities, but have simply fallen prey to their own flaws and wants, was an interesting view on things. I've never thought about it in that way, I just tended to think about the fact they something happened to make them this way and I'll have to wait until they figure out what it is before I get to know.

I tend to let my characters tell me their story as I write, finding that you can learn all sorts of interesting things from them.

The section on fears was so far the most interesting to one to me. The author make a reference to Snow White and how the queen being told that she was no longer the most beautiful could have been due to aging. So she has Snow White killed, kind of, to regain her status as the most beautiful. The author then goes on to think through what Snow White might do when she no longer is the most beautiful, and falls to aging.

Everyone has secrets and finding out how your characters affect them has always been interesting to me. One of my characters in a story I'm working on right now is stuck in inner turmoil of having left her home as it was being cut down. She feels guilty for leaving but knows she would have been killed if she had stayed. She's too scared to tell anyone fro fear of what they will think of her so she keeps it a secret what was going on. By doing this she just puts herself through more conflict.

This article was incredibly interesting to me, and I believe it will help me quite a bit in my writing.

Off to write!

Thoughtful Writer

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