Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!
Sarah Daffy

Anyone else experiencing this?

Recommended Posts

Every so often I go through a phase in writing where I hate my characters. Anyone else experiencing this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I go through periods when I think my characters aren't well written, if that's what you mean.

 

As far a liking the characters themselves (if they existed in my life), it's a mixed bag. Some of my protagonists aren't totally likable. They're not Disney good-guys with nothing to dislike. They're real people, at least that's what I'm striving for. So there are times when I don't like them, because they make mistakes and do stupid things.   

Edited by Accord64
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm curious what you mean about hating them too! I don't think I've ever hated my characters, but I've certainly been frustrated about the ones that fall flat. I realized recently that I have 3 stories where the main character is very much a good person and I had to really think through how to keep them from being perfect, and how to keep them distinct so I'm not always writing the same type of character. But I love them all.

Edited by JosiAtara
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some writers are character driven. Some are plot driven. I can think of two reasons to hate your characters.

 

1. Character-driven writers are supposed to come up with awesome characters. You are one and didn’t succeed and are mad.

 

2. Plot-driven writers have trouble coming up with good characters. You are one and accept that and know it will take work to get that part of the story right. You are used to it.

 

I am plot-driven. My last novel, I thought my heroine was flat. It wasn’t until almost halfway through writing the book that I figured her out. I found her flaws. Then I explored them and crafted scenes where she failed because of her flaws, then was forced to overcome them.

 

I love puzzles. Some writers do not like to outline. They say it takes the mystery out of the story, makes it hard to want to finish. They feel like they are just filling in the details. That is not the way I feel. For me, the mystery is not in the events, it is in the people. Discovering them, who they are and what makes them tick - that is the puzzle I have to solve. For a character-driven writer, the mystery may be the opposite: what will happen to the hero? What will he or she do? How will it end? That is why they can’t outline. That is their source for the thrill of discovery. 
 

If you do not like your characters, you do not understand them yet. Listen to them. I had a throwaway character named Thedarra. Strong-willed. Widow. Looked down upon by others. Courageous enough to argue with a fire-breathing dragon. I didn’t know most of that at first. She refused to leave the stage. Tried to win the hero away from the heroine. Composed a lament that was some of the best poetry I have included in any of my stories. Thedarra remained loyal to a promise she gave to a friend on her deathbed, even though it almost cost her life. She fought her way into being one of the main characters. Then I had to find her a husband!

 

Maybe your strongest character is not the one you think.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Accord64 said:

I go through periods when I think my characters aren't well written, if that's what you mean.

 

Right, me too. However, I can’t say my characters ever become “real” enough to be frustrated by them or feel dislike. That privilege is reserved for real people.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first book was a memoir and there were definitely characters I hated. 😅

 

In all seriousness, I have a fiction trilogy in mind and I am very worried about my ability to write real characters. I have a concept and overall story that I'm excited about, but telling it through real characters is going to be difficult. I expect I'll hate a lot of them before I get to the point of a complete draft. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just started a sequel to my Sloan, the Triathlete Sloth, in which Sloan and I have a discussion about his story. I will probably take it out, but for now, it's kind of fun.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.