This Month's Round Robin Topic: What do you define in your writing about your characters and what do you leave to the reader’s intuition? Is there anything you never tell about a character?
This topic will require a bit of pondering...
When writing YA/MG fiction,/non-fiction I define my characters, my plotting, and characters' histories and backgrounds down to a "gnat's eyelash" so to speak. In historical fiction, there are many events, though historically accurate, a young reader is not equipped to process. I address this in the note from the author, and the Q and A at the end of the novel.
As for romantic fiction, I still research career backgrounds, (my setting are towns/states I'm familiar with (residing or numerous vacations in the area). In the past, I interviewed my characters and kept detailed notes about family histories, etc. I no longer do this before writing my stories. Why because halfway through the book, my characters defined a different pathway--which led to revisions. I detest plot revisions three-quarters through a 60,000-word novel 😭.
So, now I've become what is defined as a Panster: W-plot outline, scribbled notes about my characters, a title, and away I go.
Secrets and mysterious background.
Don't you love secrets/hinted-at but not revealed mysterious background? I know I do.
Everyone has a chapter in his/her life they'd like to keep hidden. Or it may be a secret that would blow the socks off a person. Double O-7's life sounds romantic and exciting until you really think about what he does for a living.
A cowboy, rancher, or banker may see run-of-the-mill-boring until you discover a past event that defined him as a man of honor and courage; or an act of sacrifice and kindness that makes you weep.
Visit my Round Robin band of authors, they have great stories to share!
Happy Reading, everyone
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob: https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/?p=10492
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Robin Courtright https://www.rhobincourtright.com/
I missed that angle of the question defined - but like you, I have very detailed, I think you said, down to a gnat's eyelash - all the details of a character's life prior to their entry onto the stage in my book. I think you have to know your characters that well if you want to get anywhere as a pantser - you have to instinctively know how they will react to whatever action is going on. So, the defining comes before the story, rather than in it. Good post.ReplyDelete