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FFC #19 - CHALLENGE: Writing Characters

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 01:00 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry 19

I wanted to give my readers a quick update on Horizon in Sight. The fiction is moving along. I've split part two in half, so there are now four parts in total. This is shaping up to be the longest thing I have ever written, fan fiction or otherwise.

Part three introduces a lot of new side characters, and upon writing them I've realized that they aren't quite as alive as I would like. My writing process is great for assigning character traits and working out what they need for the fiction and how they go together. In short, it deals with the technical side of things.

Unfortunately, the only way to make characters be alive - that is, actually feel like a real person - is to make them real in your mind, to the point where you automatically know how they would act and what they would say. And the only way to do that (at least properly) is just to spend time exploring them, usually through the use of writing them into situations and seeing what they do.

I didn't do that with my side characters, figuring that the development I had was enough. I was wrong, and am now writing said character 'sketches'. They shouldn't take long, and will ultimately make the side characters much stronger. After that, I will return to part three, possibly rewriting the first scenes where the characters are introduced.

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On the note of more life-like characters, I would like more time to explore the concept and practice creating living characters for fiction. I would like to do this in at least one installment of TLFF, and to that end, I've been thinking of scenarios which both put characters together and force them to interact, but also provide the inherent tension to keep the reader reading (so no tea parties).

At the moment, my only idea is off a classic zombie-crawler, where the heroes are forced to silently inch through zombie-infested lands, hoping they survive. Plenty of inherent tension, and a scenario ripe for bringing out hidden character traits.

However, I would like to know if you, my readers, have any ideas for other settings. Let me know in the comments or in a PM. Remember it must force the characters to interact with each other, and it must have inherent tension (be it eminent death or just a general sense of unease). Assume the setting is in Valhalla, during the war (new units/alliances permitted).

~TGRF.
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