Read This During Your Lunch Break
“The process of storytelling is extensive. We are given limitless opportunity to explore the world we create. We coexist amongst our characters and join them on their journeys. You are a writer, and don’t let anyone ever tell you that your job isn’t a hard one.”
I just concluded a Dungeons and Dragons character creation session and the first thing I thought was, “Why don’t I do this for my characters?” The three hour session left me feeling as though I had become my character, as though I already knew the ins and outs of her life. I decided that I am going to sit down, go through my character list for my current novel and get to know my characters better. As I was writing earlier, all I could think was that I’d begin to run out of ideas, that I’m not really sure how different my main characters are. Now, I know that I have to spend time with them, I have to get to know them as I would any other character I come across.
You know the relationship you create with the characters in a novel or video game that you’re really into? That is the kind of relationship I want to have with my characters. I want to know their ins and outs, as though they’ve become a part of my life. The next session I have, I’m going to ask myself the questions I’d expect my readers to ask. I also want to know why my characters do what they do, and behave the way they behave. I feel like the reason I procrastinate writing so much is because my characters and I are nothing but acquaintances. If you’re suffering from a bad case of writer’s block, take a moment to get to know your characters. You might learn a little something about them that might spark the next chapter in your novel.
I’ve gotten considerably better at staying on track where my writing schedule is concerned, I’ve even managed to switch from my computer calendar to a physical planner. (I’m not one that ever stays in either territory for too long). Though, I always have a to-do list on my phone to mirror what needs to get done, so it gets done. I have to force myself to be productive, and in turn I genuinely want to be. I know that I want to be writing, I just have to chuck that fear of it not being good enough and get something down on the page. Give yourself the time you need, but don’t lose interest in your work. You’ve got something worthwhile brewing, work towards meeting that end goal.