I am quite fortunate in that I don’t really suffer from writer’s block but the work on my latest DCI Blizzard novel came close as the creative process came to a grinding halt.
The first 16,000 words had actually gone well. I had an idea which intrigued me and a character whose secrets gave me plenty of scope to develop the narrative as I explored the way he had concealed things from those who were close to him.
Then I hit a brick wall. Every angle I tried came to nothing, characters did not evolve and the story went flat. I found myself struggling to write for several weeks.
That has changed and the words are flying again. I still have a good 30,000 words to go but I can see a route through the story.
The catalyst was the decision to go back to another character, one who was supposed to be a fairly minor part of the story.
I started to ask myself what is she really like behind her professional demeanour? Was she capable of lying? Would she be able to betray people who had trusted her? Was there another side to her life that no one suspected existed?
Once the answers to the questions started coming so did the words. I have written before about my fascination with the way that characters evolve during the writing process and this has proved its worth yet again.
The key is to understand what kind of character you are creating. Major characters tend to fall into two categories – rounded (also known as changing or dynamic) who change throughout the story, and static (flat) characters who don’t.
In this case, I had envisaged my character as a static character. Entertaining the possibility that she was actually dynamic allowed her to grow organically. All I had to do was the typing!
Picture by Pixabay, used courtesy of https://www.pexels.com
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