DAY 18: Ask Your Characters.

When inspiration fails to push you forward, then it’s time to seek some motivation. Having a reward to work for to reach the daily word target always helps me plough on once the initial excitement of my shiny new story wears off.

My usual treats are time on social media, watching television (Big Bang Theory is my favourite at the moment), and the ever-effective promise of cake. Another treat comes courtesy of the guys and gals at nanowrimo. One of my favourite things about nanowrimo are the tips and pep talks from famous writers which arrive in your nano-mailbox throughout the month.

Yesterday my treat was to read the Week Three Rally message. One particular post caught my attention; http://blog.nanowrimo.org/tagged/5-tips from author Stephanie Perkins about how to get inspired when your story is stuck in a rut.

While I have plenty of exciting scenes planned out, I am wanting to save these until the final week, when I will have the time to do them justice and properly enjoy them. At the moment I am rushing to churn out the daily requirement of words in between work and getting enough sleep to function at work.

Tip 4-‘Interview your characters.’ caught my interest. So I tried it out today; I interviewed my main character.

Natalie (that’s her name) told me that she was feeling upset; understandable considering that her twin brother had just died. She confided that she thought there was something suspicious about his death. I gave a sympathetic ear, but didn’t let slip what I knew.

I decided to ask her why my/her story ‘sucked so much’. At first she was very kind, saying she understood that it must be difficult getting into her thoughts as we are so different. She’s a really romantic ‘girly’ girl and I’m …NOT. Then she got quite vicious, berating my bad writing and lack of focus, complaining about all of the horrible things that have happened (which I shall not mention as spoilers), and said she wouldn’t have put her worst enemy through what I’ve put her through.

Eventually Natalie calmed down enough to give some constructive ideas of where she wanted to be. Though first she tried to convince me that I really should drop the character Tanya (who she doesn’t really like) and just make the story about her and (best friend) Kathy. At first I thought ‘Nice Try’, but then I got thinking. She may have something here; it would definitely tidy up my switching-first-person point-of-view.

Natalie went on to ask if I could let her do something fun, like go to a movie premier, so she could get dressed up in a nice pretty flouncy dress (okay). She was very reasonable and said I could edit it out in December. This might happen if I finish the story I’ve got planned out, and need to add filler to get 50K.

Lastly it seems she has come to accept her lot as one of my characters. She said I should give her some more action scenes; that despite being a girl she could kick ass if she wanted to, and that I should give her some monsters to fight. Bring it on girl!

Oh, and she asked very nicely if she could ‘have some yummy cake please’. That wish I can grant. I could do with a slice myself.

words today: 1706

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4 thoughts on “DAY 18: Ask Your Characters.”

    1. it’s always good to try new ways to inspire ideas, especially helpful during nano when you’re writing against the clock. Please let me know how you go with this Catherine πŸ™‚

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