And this stalling hasn’t been bad. I know that sounds weird, but I have mentioned the importance of prewriting in my previous posts. The ideas have kicked around, rolled around and somewhere along the line they grew up.
I think life has had an affect. I have gone through a very dark period the last two years, with this last year being the absolute darkest. This reality has altered how I treat my characters. As a response, the setting and plot and every little bit has changed.
Oh, and the change is for the better! I am no longer afraid to torture my characters. As I have fought depression, anger, and bitterness and been forced to accept these things in me it ha become all right for my characters to have the same flaws and others as well.
They may have been flawed before, but I think I over-romanticized them. That leaves the world feeling a little too sanitary. It’s bright colored and clean in the mind’s eye rather than dark, dirty and gritty.
As reality lies somewhere between those two extremes, so do my characters need to be between the extremes, rather than standing nearer one end. This means that I can allow my characters to mature and let their emotions determine plot as much as the inevitable outcome I know the story will take. The tale becomes a lot more character driven.
I must say, too, that going through a darker period seriously informs one’s idea of how to torture characters, and how they react to adversity. There are things that have happened in the “prewriting” that are about to come out on the computer screen that I never would have considered. I would never have exploited my main female character’s naivete because, perhaps, I didn’t want her to be naive. It makes sense to have her be more trusting at the story’s beginning and through her trials the stuff that I was “telling” in previous drafts is shown instead and in a way that couldn’t happen before.