I’m what is called a pantser like Stephen King. I don’t outline the story ahead of time. But I do take time to stop and think or journal on where I’d like my characters to end up. Anyhow, my two characters, a woman and a man, are growing in separate places right now. The guy’s growth is far more interesting than the woman’s. In real life this normal since women mature at a younger age than men, but in writing is this ok? Should I find more balance? Should I be more deliberate about her growth? My only concern is that she will be unrealistic if I am too deliberate. Or am I over thinking and this is how characters grow in fiction.
Fiction writers, do you find this or do this intentionally. Like, give another character more spotlight? Maybe it’s her slow growth that makes him more interesting and vibrant? I’d love to hear your strategies.
“Our doctrine is, that the author and the reader should move along together in full confidence with each other.”
Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers
This quote really hit the nail on the head for me. I need confidence in my writing so that my readers are confident in my writing. The feeling like need a reason to write has been making me lose confidence in my short stories, when the truth is, even if I don’t feel like I’m saying something, in just writing about my character’s day to day activities is, for me, finding beauty in the mundane. On that thought, I may think it’s mundane, but not everyone has lived the lifestyle my characters live. Maybe some dream of the monotony from their chaotic lives. Others may have lived similar lives and relate on a level that can’t be easily explained. So hopefully, this will be a reminder to me to go confidently into what I feel is the mundane story so that my readers will feel confident to walk the story with me.
What kind of things help you regain confidence in your writing?
Today I was having a hard time focusing. So I decided to just have fun with my writing today. I didn’t focus on a concept, or a theme. I also did not try to root my focus on anything in the background while I wrote. I just wanted my characters to basically dance in the rain. I had my wild woman show her curious silly side and my male character show his playful flirty side. It felt good to let go of all the demands for a time.
What kind of things do you do to get the words out when you can’t focus?