Sunday, August 7, 2011

No More Mister Nice Guy

I'm currently rereading Robin Hobb. One of my favorite authors. Very well thought out convoluted plots. Very distinct characters. From the Fool to Nighteyes to Captin Kennit, even the bad guys are well developed.

That's when the penny dropped. I have no bad guys, not a single one. Sure I have 'villians', characters who want something different from the hero. But none of them are evil, just moving in different directions.

A few days later I was sitting in a versatility workshop at work. The guy was presenting on different social styles. All these pennies could make me rich, if the Americans ever get their economy together. All of my characters are basically the same style. Sure, they have completely different backgrounds. They have different motivations and goals. But they go about problem solving the same way. They react to stress the same way. Deep down inside they are all the same person, me.

Are these the real reasons my manuscripts consistently stall twenty thousand words in?

I believe the solution is simple, I have to exaggerate my characters, make each one is unique deep down, not just on the surface. Of course none of this will happen unless I find some time to write. I love getting my paycheck each month, but full time work has some definite disadvantages.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.