Friday, November 2, 2012

When are you, you?

My husband is gone for a week on a work trip, so obviously I'm in my pajamas, eating crappy food, and (as soon as I'm done here), catching up on crappy TV. Not that I don't do any or all of those things when he's around, but I put out a lot less effort at being a normal human being than I do when I'm alone.  Which made me think... which me is really me?

I'm an introvert. A introvert who is outgoing. No, it's not a contradiction. I'll talk to lots of people, but all the while I'll be wishing I was alone with a book. So I'm an entirely different person at a party than I am at home alone with my husband (with him I can just be myself). And I'm yet another person all together when I'm entirely alone.

We have so many facets to our personalities. At least, I hope we all do. Otherwise I probably need to see a shrink.

But the point here is don't forget about that when creating characters. Don't just make them one thing or another. They can't just be the cheerleader or the nerd or the knight in shining armor. Give them depth. Think about what it is they do in public that they would never do in private, or vice versa. Are they like me? Talkative at a party, but later complaining about how my jaw hurts because I've talked too much? Or are they the wallflower that desperately wishes she could chat with someone, but who sings heavy metal karaoke in anonymous bars?

Give your characters quirks. Even if they aren't things the reader can relate to, the fact that they actually have quirks will make them instantly more relatable.

Now that I've imparted these words of wisdom, I need to go eat some more cheese and turn on some 80s movie. It's research. For my nanowrimo novel. No, really.

-Skye (who really does miss her husband!)

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