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I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

NaNoWriMo survival - five questions to ask about your characters

As you may or may not know, today is the start of Camp NaNoWriMo! It's just like NaNo, but with a strange camp theme and in July! I'm participating, and since I don't want this blog to fall by the wayside in the meantime AND I don't want to have to think about too many things at once AND I meant to check in here with wordcounts anyway, I'm going to post about NaNo survival stuff along the way!

First, five questions to ask yourself about your characters:

  1. What are their motivations? -- Every character needs something that they want and a reason why they both want it and are striving for it. And they should mostly be different reasons and goals, even when they line up and try for common goods.
  2. How does their past affect what they want and need, and what they're capable of attempting now? -- The characters' own pasts, but also the past of their homelands and communities. Is this a revolutionary thing they're trying to do? Is it rebellious or expected? Is it something they never would have been able to do before one specific event or is it something others have tried before them?
  3. If even one on your characters accomplishes something, how does it affect what the others are doing? -- Does the action of one hero mess up what the others can do? Does the villain accidentally help the heroes? Does a hero helping themself damage their own chances of a bigger goal? People getting in the way of other people because of their own conflicting agendas is instant story!
  4. How will the whole world change if someone gets what they want, and what is the kickback from it? -- If the hero wins, what happens to their country and their world? If the villain does, what happens? How does it affect future options and events? Does someone getting what they're aiming for change the future plot of the story?
  5. How can you really mess with your characters today? -- Because a happy, well-adjusted character is a boring story, always ask how you can poke them, bother them, ruin their plans. Don't do things out of character or our of plot-reality, but if they're happy, bring them down some and if they're unhappy, chase them off or hurt them or further annoy them. That's how you build a plot!
Are you doing anything for any of the NaNos? Look me up! I'm SamiWritesALot on both sites!


  • 1220 words
  • 1220 total


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