Those who follow me will know I am writing a series of science fiction novels called Flight of the Kestrel. I have come to realise that the next part of my education as a writer needs to be about characters. My characters, although well loved by me, are not real enough to appeal to readers. I have been struggling with how to make them more rounded and believable.
I also attempted, during NaNoWriMo (see other posts), to turn my local history book (Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth) into a historical novel. I wrote 25,000 words and learned that I couldn’t do it! Thinking about it since, I realised that I’m excited about the history, which is the plot, but haven’t given nearly enough thought to the characters. That far back (14th century) it is impossible to find out what people were like, except for some of their actions being rash or foolish. I need to build complete characters, just as if it were fiction, and have challenges and changes happen to them apart from the major events.
At our Writers Circle dinner, Wendy Holborow gave me a great idea. She is preparing to write a novel set in ancient Greece, but in order to get to know her characters better, she is writing short stories about them first. The bits I’ve read so far are very good, and I am going to try the same, and I thought it was an idea well worth passing on. There are previous posts here about my major Kestrel characters, but not nearly enough detail, and there are no details about my Alina characters at all. It also gives me much more manageable tasks. Trying to resolve details about all my characters was daunting. Now I can just concentrate on one at a time.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.