Okay, I’m just beginning a brand new story for The Ed Greenwood Group, and this is all new ground. New world, new characters, new story line, new everything. The outline is cut, and approved (shared worlds are like that) and I’m just on chapter one. So, the first thing out of the gate to think about (since the plot and setting are already good to go) is “Who the hell are these people I’m writing about???”
Fortunately, we went to a beach party last night.
You’re thinking WTF??? right?
No, really, I got to thinking this morning that creating new characters, breathing life into them for the first time, is a lot like meeting new people at a party. You’re not sure exactly who they are yet, but they’re fun! Some you like more than others. Some you don’t like at all. Some you think up backstories about, even before you really know them. Some you’re freaking scared of, and not sure you want to know better…
Like a party, when you’re starting out anew with fictional characters, you decide which ones you like and want to develop friendships with. Sometimes, halfway through your story, the people you thought you knew turn out to be very different than they first seemed. This is okay. In fact, this is really good! This is your subconscious telling you that this particular character is important…
Go with that feeling! Trust your gut here! Don’t try to make your characters fit your story!
Make your story fit your characters.
Both of them will be better for it.