Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trouble in Paradise

So, I'm having a heck of a time getting into my latest MC, Kaia's, head. And here's the reason why. I think. Kaia is less bold than my normal female characters. Now, I'm not saying she's meek or weak…not by any stretch of the imagination. The girl's willing to risk life and limb in a world that would sooner see her die then succeed…all for her obnoxious little brother. I think I would classify Kaia as more of a "let's try and not rock the boat" kind of girl. Even when breaking the law, she does it in the least obtrusive way, and getting her to do even that was hard.

Her head is unfamiliar and foreign to me and I forgot to bring my passport. The furniture is all messed up and not arranged the way I like it. I prefer a big, overstuffed chair-and-a-half nestled next to a window so I can watch the world go by. Kaia's prefers the practicality of a creaky, stiff wooden chair close to the fire so that she can work well into the night on all the clothes she has to mend.

It's hard for me to crawl into her skin because we're so different. She's more timid than I am so it's taking extra hard work to get into her way of thinking and figuring out why she acts the way she acts and does what she does. I'm having difficulty drilling down to find out what really motivates her.

So, today, before dance, I'm locking myself up inside of B&N (in the Sbux section, of course) to try and get inside her head and get used to that stupid, uncomfortable chair.

Wish me luck!


  1. There's a difference between not wanting to rock the boat and the "good girl" image I am getting off of her.

    I have friends who don't like rocking the boat (tolerance is an olympic sport to them. :) ), but still enjoy thwarting the law and rules cuz they can. They just don't flaunt it or only joke about it in the context of "friendlies."

    The best advice I can give as someone who is coming into contact with a lot of writing these days: don't start with her positive characteristics. Start with the negative. If she is a good girl, such people can often be very sweet, but extremely judgmental.

    If she is so focused on keeping the "pax," then she will often defer her own opinions, or tweak them to support the dominant person in the room. This often gives rise to insecurity about the character's own opinions. Are they really a person or a shell? Not necessarily an enraged reflection on "I just adopt what other people want, I never stand up for me!" but rather a, "Holy crap, what *do* I believe?"

    People deep down don't mind dying, they mind being forgotten. And people who preserve the peace tend to be forgotten.

    fooood for thought. :D

  2. oh another potential flaw for someone who doesn't like to break the peace would be lots of little white lies. Keep everyone happy.

  3. Great advice, Kels, and wonderful insight. :) Thanks! It is always a good starting point to go with their faults. Making their redeeming qualities, then, is so much more rich and rewarding.