Home > productivity, progreport > Viva la character profile!

Viva la character profile!

In my attempt to get this short story written, I’ve already promised myself (and you, my faithful reader) an outline of the story. After long straining, I have one, of sorts. But, there just seemed to be something missing. The outline was boring in a way. I had no reason to believe that these things would happen to my main character.

That was when I realized I had been going at it the wrong way entirely. I usually start a story with a Neat Idea, if you know what I mean. For this particular story, the Neat Idea was a mining asteroid. I began to think about what kind of story I could make on an asteroid that was being mined for materials. Pretty soon I had a couple of characters and an attention-grabbing opening scene. And that was it. There was no story to go with it. Fizzle.

That’s why it’s been in my ToDo box for all these years. Years! When I put together my Project List, this story went onto it, and now I am finally giving it some attention.

Back to present. After knocking together my paltry outline, I realized that I knew next to nothing about the main character. Why was he on the asteroid? I started to write a character profile for him, fleshing out what had happened to him in the recent past, and what pushed him into such a desperate situation. I’m happy to say that I understand ol’ Les a lot better now. I can now work on the other three characters’ profiles, which should give me some more crucial insight into motivations and personality. Needless to say, only a fraction of this material will go into the story. But, it’s not often that a character springs fully formed from my forehead. I should spend more time getting to know these people, and then the story will come out.

This might just work for me for other Neat Ideas I have. If I can get the character motivations worked out, then maybe it will become more obvious how they fit into my Neat Idea and from that a plot just. might. happen.

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Categories: productivity, progreport
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