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:~: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 :~:

Settling into a pattern

I subscribe to a couple of daily horoscopes, and I got this one in my inbox this morning:

It's a big world out there, and it's time to get out and start living a little. Really, do you have any idea what a major bore you've become lately? You need to shake things up a little!

This is an AstroSlam, which is supposed to be a joke horoscope, but even while I was laughing at it I realized it's probably true. Not necessarily relating to my personal life (though I do admit I'm a pretty boring person *grin*) but I definitely can see it relating to my writing.

I was working on the first draft of a WIP yesterday and noticed a lot of the scenes and character traits sounded way too similar to the last book I wrote. When I get to the second draft, both the story and the characters are in for some big changes. In my recent WIPs, my characters haven't had any real problems. The conflict has been superficial, and in those instances had made for some pretty predictable stories. It's definitely time to start shaking things up a bit, and to give those characters some real issues to work through.

Do you ever find your plots or your characters getting boring? If so, what do you do to liven them up?


Blogger Joan Swan said...

Not only have I found my plots similar, but if I'm not careful, my characters become almost interchangeable. And my writing...I find myself wanting to describe certain things in the same way. I have to physically stop myself--take my fingers away from the keys--and rethink something fresh.

I have found that if my conflicts are to be unique, they have to be organic to the character, which means they typically have to stem from their backstory, their greatest fear, their worst flaw.

Generally, when I'm in a scene and I'm looking for conflict, I ask myself, "What is the worst possible thing that could happen to this person right now?" Then I make it happen. And/or I ask myself, "What is this person's worst fear?" Then I take another step toward making that fear a reality.

I love torturing my characters. :-)

Good luck!

7:13 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Not yet. But I worry it could happen.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Joan, I have the same issues with characters and descriptions. *grin* I'm trying to slow down a little and really get into the characters' heads to help fix the problem.

Eli, you're very lucky. :) Hopefully you won't have to deal with it.

11:17 AM  

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