Friday, May 18, 2012

differing reactions


My MC for Novel 2 is very different from my MC in Novel 1 (and even very different from me).  She's out-spoken, confident, not afraid of saying what's on her mind.  Her reactions to situations are completely different than what I would do.  And that's where I'm having trouble.  It's getting harder for me to write her reactions because they are so different from mine and I'm finding myself having to edit her reactions before they even get on the page.

I was thinking about this.  There are so many different personalities out there.  For a given situation, there are many different reactions specific to each different person.  For example, I'm an only child.  I think this is part of why I am not very talkative.  It could be because I had no siblings to talk to.  On the flip side, I have a very good friend who is an only child and he is one of the most talkative people I've met.  He's super friendly and loves talking to anyone who will listen.  This could be because he had no one to talk to, so when he does get around other people, he talks as much as he can in order to get the talking in that he wouldn't get at home.  So we both grew up in the same situation, but different reactions stem from it.

So this is the problem I'm having in my WiP.  A situation occurs and can give multiple reactions.  The first reaction that comes to mind is ultimately mine and not my MC's.  So it's taking me longer to figure out what her reaction is.  I know her motivations inside and out, I just have to continually remember them.  My first reaction is not hers.  She is her own person.

Tesla is confident; it's something I love about her.  It's one of the main staples of her personality.  A boy says something rude?  She'll give a witty retort back.  (Unlike Elle, my first MC, who would probably go hide in a corner).  But even confident people get nervous.  But how do I show that, while also keeping the integrity of her character?  It's another one of these "walking the fine line" type situations.  Making sure the nervousness shows, while also keeping her confident.  Maybe she's confident in being nervous, lol.  Either way, I think this type of nervousness is drastically different than the nervousness Elle feels in COTF, so it has to be shown differently.  It's just finding the actions and reactions that would show it.

6 comments:

  1. This...is hard. I have this same problem. I think, at least for me, a lot of fine-tuning the characterization will come with editing. Sometimes I'll read back something I wrote, and the character seems different than I intended, but I didn't notice it at the time. It's especially hard when a character is very unlike you, but I think it's easier to fix while reading it over and revising than while drafting and trying to be creative and keeping track of a million things at once. But that's just me :)

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  2. This is why I love revisions, lol. I agree, it's def easier to see it when you read it over. I'll just have to remember that when I'm agonizing over a certain situation. Thanks for the reminder! (And that first drafts don't have to be perfect, lol).

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  3. I know exactly what you're talking about. It's hard to get to know a character when they're so different from you, but I think you just have to connect with her on the level where you are the same, and get to know her differences from there. Good luck!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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    1. That's a really good idea. Understanding her similarities and difference will def give me a better perspective. Thanks!

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  4. Yeah, these kind of things are challenging. I’m still working on that sort of thing. Sometimes my family has said that all my characters end up blending together. I’ve been working on that though. =)
    ~Aidyl

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    1. Agreed. Definitely something I'm working on, making sure all my characters are different.

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