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Recently I sat down and had a very log and completely overdue discussion with a handful of my characters that were all horribly upset at me. It seems that I have developed a problem of jumping into the full force of things and as I jump I throw my characters mercilessly into the fiery pits of chaotic words fighting for dominance and meaning in the paragraphs I haven't quite figured out yet.
I had committed a great sin as an author. I was throwing infantile ( I mean honestly, only three days old and I'm throwing him into a war?!) characters into settings that they weren't prepared for. Situations that made them uncomfortable or, scared and sometimes they just didn't even know how to handle themselves.
As a writer I believe I should always let my characters develop to the point that I know how they would react in EVERY situation. And yet here I was rushing things because I was so excited to get to the climax of my story so that I could make the big reveal of several things I had been leading up too.
I took a step away from my laptop and went back to the drawing board, literally. I spent some time getting to know each and every one of my many characters. I learned about some silly fears, not so silly fears. I learned that Azula has a stubborn streak and Theo is braver than he realizes.
As a reader I always look for books and stories that follow the lives of people that are complicated and have to make decisions that force the plot to move forward. I look for plots that thicken as the young heroine steals an apple from a street vendor. I look for the stories that are carried by the choices of hundreds of people.
So after realizing I wasn't meeting my own requirements of what I look for I made an oath for myself. To never throw my characters into wars, or even into an ocean yelling out, "SINK OR SWIM SUCKER!"
And just like I shouldn't bully my characters, no one should have to get bullied! Help raise awareness of anit-bullying month by checking out this awesome giveaway! Anti- Bullying Month.