Most new writers make the same mistakes. Here are some examples and how to avoid them.
Lack of specifics: This can be caused by laziness or insecurity on the part of the writer. By using significant details- works, friends, what does the character want-you can flesh out the character’s emotional life.
I’m terrible at emotions. Really. It’s sad that I write romance or at least include it in my suspense stories. This was the last part of the workshop I researched. But I learned so much doing the research. You need the specifics to make your character three –dimensional.
Ambiguity: A writer has to trust his own experience. This is one of my flaws. I could go into a long complicated explanation but none of you are my therapist. Suffice it to say it has been a hard fought lesson on my part to trust my experience. We are all more similar than we are different.
A writer needs to bleed onto the page. That requires the writer to tap into and explore their own emotions. I know many writers who say if they didn’t write they’d be in a straight jacket. You could probably include me in that. I get to work things out on the page.
Lack of Trust in Characters: A writer can write the character with too many inconsistencies. The reader needs to see the emotional journey of the character for the range of emotions to be believable. A writer can also make a character too consistent. We all have a range of emotions. Also, we all can react differently to the same situation on a different day. Our characters should too.
“Giving your characters authentic, believable emotions is the best way I know to breathe life into them and off the page.” Ann Hood.
Your characters should have emotional depth and breadth. How does a character get from emotion A to emotion B?
There’s a timeline.
Do you have one? No need to share here, but you all have resolved on emotional conflict. How did you get from A to B? Your character must go through a similar timeline, but it should be different from yours since your character is different from you.
Your emotional life and your character’s emotions life only needs to overlap enough to make the reader believe.
Blurb: She’s an angel who hasn’t earned her wings. He’s a preacher questioning his faith. How are these two supposed to stop the impending apocalypse?
Thanks for having me today.