One of the things that I struggle with as a writer is creating interesting characters that have all the hallmarks of a real person, but also can grow and change to create a satisfying character arc that feels natural to the story I’m telling. I imagine I’m not alone when I say that.
Some people like to be reductive about this and simply say “just write real people”, but the answer is never that simple. Real people don’t work in most fiction because fiction isn’t about real people. Fiction is artifice of reality. It has structure where reality doesn’t. It has archetypes and tropes and plot elements and a hundred other things that help define a fictional story. Continue reading →
I was once an insufferable little prat a teenager, discovering a lot about myself and the world around me in that clumsy way all teens have. I found out that women made me feel funny inside; that I didn’t really like slapstick comedy very much; that there was more than a surface level in books, movies, television, video games, and in people. I found that what I loved as a little boy (reading) wasn’t something a lot of people did (at least a lot of people I would come to know).
I also discovered that it takes a writer to make something a reader can read.
The very first time I can remember having written something that I genuinely enjoyed the process of writing it as opposed to reading the outcome was when I was in sixth grade, before 12-year-olds were considered junior high schoolers. My teacher was Mrs. Gardner, and we were given the assignment to write a short story about our lives thirty years in the future. Specifically we were told to imagine some technologies that might exist thirty years in the future, and to describe who we were as people in this crazy future world. Continue reading →