Anyway, I'm going to share with you a part of my process. It's weird, okay? Don't judge. When I'm trying to figure out something, be it a plot twist, a character's life, etc, I like to do it on paper. When I have a question, I don't sit and ponder it. Instead, I write it down on paper and look at it later, and then I'm usually able to have an epiphany and answer it.
My characters for my new novel have been annoying me. They grow silent when I need them the most. So I've taken to yelling at them. Here's what is looks like on paper (literally):
To my first main character, Tara.
WHAT DO YOU WANT, TARA?
EVEN THAN KNOWS WHAT HE WANTS.
WHAT DRIVES YOU EVERYDAY?
IT'S NOT YOUR MOM; SHE'S DEAD, DUH.
CAN'T CRY FOR YOUR MOMMY.
I KNOW YOU LIKE THAN.
PLEASE DON'T TELL ME YOU'RE THAT PATHETIC.
YOU HAVE TO WANT SOMETHING ELSE.
SOMETHING LESS CONCRETE.
SOMETHING YOU'LL NEVER GET.
I COULD KILL YOU, YOU KNOW.
DON'T MAKE THIS A TRAGEDY.
TRAGEDIES ARE OVERPLAYED.
READY TO TALK YET? NO?
OH? YOU WANT PEOPLE TO LIKE YOU FOR YOU?
UH...LET ME SEE...
THIS COULD BE WHAT DRIVES YOU TO STAY IN THE WATER...
UM. OKAY. FINE. WE'LL TRY IT.
BUT IF IT'S NOT RIGHT, I'LL BE BACK.
And that was me trying to figure out character motivation. And here's me trying to figure out how my other main character, Than, handles life.
THAN OWENS, TALK TO ME.
YOU WANT TO LEAVE. OKAY, I GET IT. YOU WANT TO LEAVE ON A BOAT UNDER YOUR NAME. 'KAY. HOW YOU GONNA DO THAT? OH, HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU, BUT YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S A FISH. YOU LIKED HER BEFORE SHE WAS A FISH--WHICH YOU'LL NEVER ADMIT--AND YOU KNEW SHE WAS A FISH WHEN YOU STARTED DATING HER. HOW DOES THIS EFFECT YOU? YOU'RE A FISHERMAN, DAMMIT. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH SECRETS? WHAT IF YOU'RE FISHING AND YOU ACCIDENTALLY CATCH A MERROW? NO, NOT A MINNOW. A MERROW. AS IN, YOUR GIRLFRIEND. HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO COVER FOR HER BECAUSE SHE'S SUCH A BAD LIAR? HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO PICK HER UP LATE AT NIGHT FROM THE BEACH BECAUSE SHE COULDN'T HELP HERSELF? YOU'RE AN ENABLER, DUDE. YOU HAVE WANTS AND DREAMS, TOO. AND PROBLEMS. WHAT ABOUT YOUR HEART? YOU FATHERS HEART? THEY'RE TAKING YOUR MONEY SLOWLY BECAUSE OF THE HOSPITAL BILLS. SURE, YOU'RE HAPPY WHEN YOU'RE WITH TARA, BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE NOT WITH HER? BESIDES, SHE'S CHANGING. ALL SHE CARES ABOUT ANYMORE IS THE SEA. YOU CAN'T TALK TO HER. SO ANYWAY, THIS BOAT YOUR NEIGHBOR GAVE YOU. MAYBE, NOW IF YOU CAN FIX IT QUICKLY, YOU CAN FIX EVERYTHING ELSE. YOUR FATHER. BUT NO MONEY. WHAT KINDS OF THINGS ARE YOU WILLING TO DO FOR MONEY? YOU'RE AN HONEST MAN, SO NOTHING ILLEGAL, OF COURSE. MAYBE TAKE EXTRA SHIFTS, SELL YOUR STUFF...
Okay, so obviously, Than Owens is much harder for me to pinpoint than Tara O'Sullivan. I did figure some information out from doing this, though: a couple of scenes, some of the character's thoughts, reactions.
This probably doesn't make sense to the world completely outside of my head. I probably seem crazy. I'm not. I'm just a writer who is seriously pressed on time and can't get straight answers from her characters. Yeah, I'm kind of harsh on my MCs. Squeezing lemon juice into their wounds...torture shouldn't always be the answer, unless you're in as much of a pickle that I'm in.
NaNoWriMo has begun. Still no progress.