Saturday, October 25, 2008

Writing Characters

Some characters come to me fully formed, ready for action. Bo Fexler strolled onto the page quite a few years ago-- she was pretty much as she is now. Tall, blond, sexy. She became more sexy, and more willing to use sex as time went on. (I also went from being a high school kid to a married woman in that time period... ;)

Other characters are less distinct, more malleable. They let me push them and prod them into the role they need to play. Many of my secondary and minor characters are this way. I'll change their job or their motivation and they'll just shrug and go along with it.

Someone asked me the other day, why Bo had a speech impairment. That, to some smacks of "Mary Sue." I don't know why Bo has a speech impairment. She always had one. It makes her reticent, a trait that is useful for a private eye. But beyond that, I have no explanation. That's just who Bo is. I could no more write her another way than I could write her as being short and dark haired.

Sometimes, I write the story. Sometimes, the story writes itself. Neither is inherently better. I can make up crap just as well as a plot line can go bust without help. But it does make me sound a little more crazy than normal.


Emily Veinglory said...

Characters that are real to us, are presumably more real to other people. I am sure it can't be a bad thing :)

Rose Archer said...

Being tall, sexy, and blonde is something of a stereotype, so she needs some flaws to make her three-dimensional. Seems to me that you giving her a speech issue just means that you're a good writer.