I’m really not an analytical person – a bit surprising for a former lab technician I admit. I guess that’s why I’m not in a lab anymore. When I write I just tell that person’s story as it comes to me. Now, after brainstorming at our yearly RWAC retreat last weekend, I want to see my characters from a different angle.
Take Liam, for instance. What does he want? To heal emotionally and physically and get on with his life. What else would an injured war veteran want? But let’s get specific. He needs to work, and he likes physical work, but would he want to work for someone else? Maybe he’d rather have his own company. Maybe he’d like to build houses. Perhaps he was in the process of starting his own construction business when the war intervened.
As for Alice, she wants to teach music to gain some independence, but would she really rather perform? If she didn’t need to support herself, what would she do? I think she’d rather be on stage, where her dyslexia wouldn’t matter.
The joy of a first draft is discovering the characters. The joy of retreating, and brainstorming, is the creative energy it generates – and, of course, the plain old fun.
This week’s Folk Friday is a tribute to my chapter mates - those ‘wild women’ full of creativity. Enjoy!