Here is the second of a short series of posts on my 2016 writing project.
A few years ago, I heard a person say that a good story starts with good characters. I’m not going to claim that my project has either good characters or a good story, but I can at least say that over the past few years I’ve been incrementally putting in more and more thought into the characters that are being created. In fact, the writing that I’ve done so far on the characters is far more extensive than anything I’ve done on the plot. On my computer I have a number of files for the various characters and once in a long while I edit them with new ideas. Each main character, and several of the side characters, has their own file with my thoughts on things like who they are, where they came from, what they believe, and how they interact with others. In a sense I’ve been creating the “rules of the character.” True, humans are not machines and well capable of irrationality, hypocrisy, etc, but having a baseline history and worldview for each character has been helpful in my attempts to keep the storyline coherent. Whether or not I succeed in creating anything worthwhile remains to be seen, of course, but over the coming months this year I’ll be more regularly updating those character files, and adding new ones as more characters are created.