Ha, ha, ha, I have arrived! Yes, I’m still lingering on the borderline of writing blog posts on Saturdays~Sundays, maybe Monday? deal. So you will find it to be published on either of those days. Although, analytics tells me that Saturday is really the best day to do it, so I should probably be listening to that.
Today I present to you the beginning of a very fun mini series for the month of March, Love, Author series. In the next three weeks, I’ll be talking about all sorts of love discipline an author needs. (Yes, love takes discipline. Mistrust all who says love is falling.)
So the first one is called, 3 Reasons to Fangirl/Fanboy Your Characters. (Quite naturally.) And it’s timely, too, since my favourite characters are dying in the movies I’ve been watching recently. *blinks at the Pirates of Caribbean, Harry Potter*
1. You Can’t Write About Someone You Hate
Yes, it’s quite true. So obvious, but some people forgets about it. (No, not forgets. Forget. Don’t mind my inner Gollum.) And since we all forget, I must remind you.
This is quite on par with crafting believable villains. You can’t just throw in a ramshackle abused childhood to make us believe in the cold blooded villain. You have to love your villain as much as you main character and root for his world dominations!
Sometimes, I get stuck on a character. (If you recall me from last NaNo, you’ll remember me screeching and whining about my obstinate Elektriem characters, plus the whole college application fiasco.) Whenever I’m stuck like this, I try to remind myself why that character is there. Of course, there are goals the character must meet, ambitions the character harbours, and etc., etc.
But at the end of the day, your character is a person (unless it’s an animal, or some other creature). Everyone needs love. Otherwise, your character will starve and die.
2. If You Hate Your Character, Your Reader Will, Too
Another redundant statement, but once again, it is true. Now imagine this:
Bob, a normal young man around fifteen, loves sports. He doesn’t have a favourite, but loves any sort of sports that happen to be in season. Oh, but he can’t play any sports. He just sort of does that on his phone. He goes to a normal high school, and has a crush on the class hidden beauty. There’s a prom coming up.
B-o-o-r-r-i-i-n-n-g. And we don’t even need this character. If he were my MC, I would kill him in the first sentence of the book. Makes things interesting, see?
Okay, I must admit that this was a tad bit extreme. Obviously, no one writes card board characters like that. But we really have to watch out. Let’s try another person, also named Bob:
Bob is a fifteen year old boy who would give anything to be normal. He likes sports, like kiiking, although he sometimes falls off the platform trying to imitate Ants Tamme. He is a better player of online kiiking, which is just not the same as revolving 360 degrees on a metal-pole swing. He goes to Jukham Grammar School, where he harbours a crush on Aemilie, who is a kiiking champion.
See? I would rather meet Bob 2 than Bob 1. We don’t need Bob 1s. There’s no need for boring characters you fall asleep writing. If you’re bored of a character, your readers will bore too. If you hate a character, then there’s a good chance your readers will, too.
[Note: There’s a difference, however, in crafting characters readers love to hate. Big difference.]
3.Characters are You
You didn’t see that one coming, did you? What do I mean by this?
To put it simply, it’s this fundamental truth: All of your characters are going to have some part of yourself in it. Be it a character’s physical appearance, or favourite song, or book genre, fears, anything.
It’s really funny since I didn’t realize this until just recently, but no matter who that character is, there are parts of myself in them.
So really, it makes no sense to hate a part of yourself.
And really, it all boils down to this…
I had to admit that I totally ship my characters. Moanne, Kisa? *shrieks hysterically*
Yup, I do that all the time. But I feel like unless you can ship your characters, your readers won’t (on par with point 2).
Writing is hard business. A lot of the days, authors (even published ones) spend their time staring at blank screens (or pages) wondering why so-and-so is not being cooperative. And hating them, just a bit. At these times, I find that it’s vital to go back to the beginning, and recall when you first met that character. What was he/she like? Did you hate him/her? Or were they someone you got along with immediately?
Just remember, and give them a little love. That’s the biggest secret in writing characters, because…
They’re absolutely real.
Thanks for reading so far! This is only a beginning on Love, Author, and I hope you liked it! (Let’s hope I’ll turn my consistency around, too.) Do you love your characters? Are you your own fangirl/boy for your books? Let me know in the comments below!