Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Write It Wrong

I'm still struggling with this character I may have mentioned. She has me up late into the night and I can't seem to crack her, can't seem to get her right. I sit in front of a blank screen and dance around her, get to the end of a sentence just before she is about to appear, and the cursor blinks, and I freeze.

Yesterday, I heard her for the first time. And by heard, I mean, she spoke (from behind a closed door no less, still refusing to be seen.) There was dialogue. One measly line. And it stopped me. Is this right? Would she say this?

On our walk to the subway I told Tyler about my frustration: I can't get it right. I just don't know her well enough.

And he said: Well, what are you going to do? Take her out for lunch?

And I suppose that's what I need to do, take her out and see what happens. I think the only way to get through this is to forget everything and just...write it wrong.

Do you have any characters you need to get wrong before you get it right?


  1. Tyler is right .... thank goodness he is around!!
    I understand, totally; it is as if the character is just out of reach as in a dream.

  2. yay, Tyler! I am going to try this approach with my new WIP, better go make some

  3. Tyler is right. I think the best thing is to let the character out in and just observe what she does.Then just write it down. Then you can go back and make changes later.

    Failing that, have a interview with her to find out more about her. Then you can understand her better. Does that make sense?

  4. i've heard writers write loads of stuff about characters as they develop them- stuff they never even use, but just to help them know them inside and out. fascinating to me.

    i write loads of songs wrong all the time to help me get to the ones i occasionally get right. maybe that's sorta the same, in my little world. ;)