Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My protagonist wants action

-- guilty of character neglect

Writers live with their characters, become acquainted with their strengths and foibles in the act of advancing the story. I love the idea of tuning in to my characters, allowing them to be players in their own destiny.

When I neglect my WIP, I feel sorry for my protagonist. Nothing has happened in a long time. She wants action. I feel her resentment seething from my laptop and the pages I've printed for my critique group, notes scribbled all over them. Her imagined life is suspended while I'm not writing. I envision her, annoyed with me, impatient. It prompted me to write this haiku:


My protagonist,
Tapping her paper fingers
Waits for the next page.

How do you tune in to your characters?

Coming soon -- compiling a playlist for your story.


Kenda Turner said...

Great visualization--her tapping her fingers, HER waiting for the next page. Love it!

I've clipped pictures out of what I think my characters might look like, and use them to jumpstart the next scene, the emotion, etc. Hmm, maybe they're impatient with my writing slowness, too...

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

I get so obsessed with my characters that one of them served me with a restraining order.
Peeping Participle

iza said...

I love the "paper fingers"!
I may walk away from a WIP but the characters remain in my thoughts. I think they know that so they don't get too lonely. They know I'll be back.
Love the "restraining order" too!

Kenda Turner said...

Megan, back again to say I'm glad to have "met" you, and I enjoy your blog.I passed along a couple of blog awards your way today over at my place :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Megan - I have an award for you on my blog! Please stop by.

Jennifer Young (Castles in the Sky)

Barbara Watson said...

Great imagery! I think our characters do feel like this; they want their story told and we are chosen to write it for them. I'll be picturing my ten-year-old protagonist tapping his foot, arms crossed, lurking by my desk, waiting for me.

Anonymous said...

That's a great Haiku :)
I know my character's definitely get annoyed with me if I don't play with them enough. Sometimes I'm too busy, and sometimes I'm just lazy and don't feel like playing. When I'm just being lazy they do something outrageous to get me back :P
Right now I'm editing someone else's work, so my characters have been sitting idly by, and I can just imagine them tapping their fingers and getting ready to stab me with sharp objects :P

Lisa Gail Green said...

That's an awesome haiku! I use my theater background when I write, and I kind of mentally "become" the character. I know it sounds weird, but that's how it works for me. :D

Talli Roland said...

Writing is always a process of getting to know my characters, no matter how much time I spend sketching them out beforehand. Once i know them, they tend to live with me until their story is complete.

MTeacress said...

I tune in with mine when I remember the similarities we have. :)

Hi there. I'm a new follower. I've stopped by via another blog. Nice to 'meet' you.