@joshspilker Worst: you should know everything about your characters before you begin writing.
— Juliet Escoria (@julietescoria) February 2, 2014
Agree or disagree?
Agree, that it’s bad advice. I swore up and down that I’d do more character research for this new project I’m starting, but guess what? That’s no fun. Research is only fun sometimes, usually when I’m up against the wall for a project or I’m really into it, otherwise I can’t get into it, writing is hard enough.
I once wrote all the distinct character traits on a piece of paper and tucked that away somewhere then I lost the piece of paper and all I was left with was myself, which I already knew plenty about.
Lazy, lazy, I am lazy.
There is some value I think in outlining your characters from beginning to end, I think I’d changed my mind in there somewhere, I think I should write the character traits down at least somewhere as a beginning, maybe on Evernote this time so they don’t get lost to the wind, I don’t know if that’s my style, but at this point in my life it might be okay to change up my style somewhat.
Ok, timeout from the self-flagellation–does this depend on the type of book you’re writing? Like if you have a lot of characters in some type of genre book do you need more bright lines around your character? If your character is completely different than the type of people you normally associate with, do you need some help? If you want to base your character on a real-life person, can’t you just use their Wikipedia page?
This answers the fundamental question–only create characters that have been written about before, that way you can benefit from someone else’s hard work, imagination is not my strong suit maybe I don’t know.
This was not supposed to be a depressing blog post, it’s probably time for a muumuu of shame, good thing we’ve got one.
This is Juliet’s twitter bio: I am a dumb bitch, and also a mongoose. My story collection BLACK CLOUD is due out in April from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
This is Juliet’s website.
This is other stuff on the muumuu of shame.
This is writing advice from Scott McClanahan that also includes a picture of him wearing the muumuu of shame.