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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21940 comments We've got the thread about comfort reading that Patti started.

Does anybody have any character that they find easy to write? The sort where slipping into character with them is almost like putting on a pair of comfortable old slippers, it's so easy


message 2: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25063 comments I never stick to the same characters, or even the same genres. I've really enjoyed the irascible old ladies I've been writing about lately!


message 3: by David (new)

David Manuel | 1147 comments Jim wrote: "We've got the thread about comfort reading that Patti started.

Does anybody have any character that they find easy to write? The sort where slipping into character with them is almost like putting..."


Richard Paladin's voice has always been the easiest for me, but I wouldn't exactly describe him as a pair of comfortable old slippers.


message 4: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) | 4243 comments My villain seems to be anxious to take over my brain and have her say. I have to rein her in.


message 5: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments I wish I was writing enough to remember who my characters are!


message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris Naylor I have a grumpy and sardonic bearded dwarf called Hergrim, who is basically me except that he carries a large double-headed axe. He's pretty easy to write. I also have a wizard called Gwydden, who is also pretty easy. He's not a powerful wizard like Gandalf, he's just a muddler with a pointy hat. I don't have a pointy hat, but if I did, I'd pretty much be him.

So it's looking like my comfortable characters are just bits of me with a few props.

I'm less comfortable writing women characters. Never having been a woman, I don't feel I understand them. I have the same problem with dragons, but that bothers me less, because I don't think many dragons read my books.


message 7: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments I am comfortable writing when I know the plot. My almost-ready-to-be-published latest book didn't come into that category, and with the plot down on paper, I feel a whole lot more comfortable editing it. Which is why I have edited and re-edited it more than once or twice. My subsequent book - which I've only just started - also comes into that category. I have no idea where it's going, and just hope that light will dawn.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21940 comments I quite like it when I'm not entirely sure what's going on, and you have to rely on the characters to see you through :-)


message 9: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Not a specific character as such - for me it's a moment.

When you're writing a new character you might start with a reasonable idea of what they're like. You might have a back story for them. An idea of what they look like. Their speech patterns. What motivates them. What they're afraid of.

But none of that really brings a character to life. It's all good stuff, but it's a bit dry and theoretical.

Then you get that moment when the character does something for themselves, when they surprise you, when they do something that isn't in the plot. It almost feels as if they're in the room with you.

From that point on you can't put them wherever you want in the plot. They start to have opinions of their own. Now you can have a conversation with them ... and they might not always agree with you.

A case in point. I'm writing an historical novel at the moment. My main character is an honest worker - a god-fearing, hard drinking, opinionated, salt of the earth.

Then out of the blue he starts flirting with one of the female characters. And then we had a sex scene, of a sort. At first it took me surprise. I hadn't given my permission for that to happen. That wasn't in the script. It's not part of his character description. It doesn't feature in the plot.

But it was what the character needed. He was sticking two fingers up at me and doing something that he wanted to do.

Okay then. So I rewrite what has gone before to add in this part of his character. I adjust the plot.

Jack gives me a thumbs up. And seeing as he's handy with his fists, I ought not to stop him from getting his oats.


message 10: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Appleby-Dean (benjaminappleby-dean) Not so much a character, but I revert to dark fairytales or 1920s ghost stories if I feel in need of a writing break between more ambitious pieces.


message 11: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) | 4243 comments Will wrote: "Not a specific character as such - for me it's a moment.

When you're writing a new character you might start with a reasonable idea of what they're like. You might have a back story for them. An i..."


Sounds like Jack is there for your plot reason - but the rest of him is for himself. The WHAT is determined (the script), but the HOW is up to the emerging him.

Even for an extreme plotter with control issues, as I am, there is plenty of room for the HOW.


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris Naylor Jim wrote: I quite like it when I'm not entirely sure what's going on, and you have to rely on the characters to see you through :-

That's pretty much my normal state. I write novels to find out what's going to happen.

Alicia wrote: Even for an extreme plotter with control issues...

I only plotted one of my novels in advance, and that was a time travel novel where I had to do it to avoid tying myself in knots. Time travel novels are the devil.


message 13: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7686 comments I've started plotting loosely so I can work write in short bursts and switch projects without losing my way. The non fiction projects are easier but it's the fiction that really makes me feel as if I'm flying.

I feel very comfortable writing The Pan of Hamgee because, likewise, there's a lot of myself in him. Ditto Andi Turbot and Ruth OK and General Moteurs and I'm also really enjoying writing about Trev at the moment. Writing about K'Barth, full stop, is fun although the female lead in the new series, Space Dustmen, is also great fun..

That said, the characters do what they do and they often change the plot as I get to know them.


message 14: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments "Space Dustmen" was the title of my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. But it was rubbish & I binned it!


message 15: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7686 comments It will probably end up being called Space Pirates because that probably has more sales potential. Or Space Trash ... shudders.


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9086 comments Hey M - growing up in Aberdeen we called the binmen scaffies (it came from scavengers I suppose?) but I just thought Space Scaffies has a certain ring to it. Disadvantage being that only aberdonians will know what it means :)

You won't believe the trouble autocorrect had with Scaffies...


message 17: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7686 comments Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) wrote: "Hey M - growing up in Aberdeen we called the binmen scaffies (it came from scavengers I suppose?) but I just thought Space Scaffies has a certain ring to it. Disadvantage being that only aberdonian..."

I could call it Space Scavs I guess ...


message 18: by David (last edited Mar 15, 2018 07:59AM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Seems the characters that we find comfort in writing are the ones that contain elements of their creator, or have traits that we identify with and admire. The character I find easy to write and find comfort in for these reasons is Bane from my Alloria novel. Even when not writing about this character, he continues to enter my thoughts, in much the same way as an old friend who happens to live in a far flung country.


message 19: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments There was a Space Janitors series on Geek & Sundry. Quite good it was too . . .

https://www.youtube.com/user/SpaceJan...


message 20: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Once the characters have established themselves (and I'm right there with you, Will, about them taking over for themselves) I find it pretty easy to write them whenever I return.

Like Mary, I write a number of different things in bursts, so that if one thing's not happening, something else will and I can keep things fresh.


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