These last few weeks, as I been going through my manuscript, I’ve been thinking a lot about the personal journeys all my characters are going through. Some have nice cushy lives until some unexpected guests turn up, and some have been thrown in to the wilderness to survive and hope for the best… Half the time, they have no idea what their doing, even experienced Knights have no idea what their doing. I do, I know what their doing and what they need to do, but I hope with this indecisiveness, that somehow, I’ve been able to make my characters feel more real!
For me (and most people, whether your young or old), I still don’t have any idea what I want with my life, not truly. I obviously want to publish books and all that, but there’s a large chunk of my life that I don’t know where its going… Just like my poor characters!
In most of the books that I’ve read, the characters, I don’t think, have enough indecisiveness in their lives and I think it’s really important that they do. I think more characters need to not have a clue what they want, they may have something their given, or are heir too. Say a prince or a princess. But, I want my characters to question these things, to say. ‘Perhaps I don’t want to be one… Perhaps I do… Maybe… Well… I don’t know’
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with character knowing what they want, perhaps they know it straight away, and that’s fine. My main antagonist knows what he wants, he knows – just about – how to get it and he’s determined to do it. His reasoning may not be the best, especially for some of the things he does, but, at the end of the day, he does have his reasons, and to him, their true.
In my WIP, my characters are all changed by the end of it, some for the very worse, some for the better, but, for a good chunk of it, their not sure what their supposed to do. They don’t know who to trust, or who to follow, or even if they trust themselves. Some get really depressed, and some contemplate killing themselves. Some just walk in to a forest full of monsters and never come back (this happened, and I cried, because I didn’t realise it needed to happen until I edited it, the scene still makes me feel sad now, and it’s been a few months).
So, I guess, it’s a trait of many people in real life that doesn’t always seem to cross over to books, or stories so much. I know it can be a bit frustrating the character not knowing what they want to do, or be, or where they want to go; even when it’s really obvious to the reader, but, the whole point of a book is making this world you created some-what believable, and I think it’s a great way off adding this realistic part to it…
At the end of the day, you know what you want your characters to do, even if they don’t, and your job is to put them through all their trials and tribulations and learn with them; learn what they like, what they fear, how they deal with different things. It’s okay if they changed their mind half way through, perhaps they won’t be that hero you wanted them to be, or they won’t be that sort of villain that you planned, but that’s just the joys of writing a book isn’t it?
You can plan the whole thing, and have a completely different plot by the time you type the end…
What traits do your characters have that make them that little bit more realistic? I’d loved to hear them!
Happy hump day guys
Just Keep Writing!