After reading the uncut version of The Stand, well, ‘the kid’ added a creep factor and I never really bonded with him. In my readerly opinion, ‘the kid’ should have been cut from the first round.
There are Points of View till hell won’t have them. And we are going to talk about a few of them. We have been discussing character building, settings, symbols and images. We discussed dialogue, subjects and subtexts. On Sunday we hit on Action.
What do you keep in your character notes? Do your characters get their very own files? Do you interview them? How do you keep them alive? How do you come back to your keyboard for the duration of your short story or novel and keep them fresh and alive and full of surprises?
When I begin a short story or a novel I like to have a firm idea of the plot in my mind. Once my imagination is pre-loaded I flesh out characters and work through various outcomes. I do best when I have the rough draft of six major scenes. If I do not know some key things going into a story I usually fail to connect enough to finish it.
The Interview often unlocks a story. Just the simple ‘what’s up?’ is enough to get things started again. You may discover your ‘helper’ character is clueless about your ‘main’ character’s motives. Your ‘antagonist’ may be blissfully unaware of the ‘protagonist’s’ intentions.