During the course of April I completed a challenge to write everyday but Sundays. I did it! I focused on characters that I love…so what did I end up learning?
I love challenges. If you plan well for them, you become empowered through the experience. Your ability to execute your ideas increases and the strength you need to overcome sudden obstacles also increases. The point of this challenge was to become empowered to write. I accomplished this goal. I didn’t miss one posting and I’m very proud of that fact. To write everyday wasn’t an easy task, but I did it and it sets me up for my own personal May challenge (to write a post everyday while also working on another writing project).
About half way through this year’s challenge I noticed a pattern in why I loved each character: their relationships.
Relationships make character.
The point of stories, whether in a book, movie or television show, is to simulate real life. We want to feel that character is up and moving around and the people we interact with, how we interact with them and why we are motivated to do so all contribute to who that character is. The intimacy we feel in getting to peek in on their interactions with others — there is no power a writer can utilize in their writing toolkit than that — show us who they are through their reflections in others.
Many times these characters are not the lead point of view or protagonists. They are the secondaries that are shaded in with broad sweeping strokes that hint and tantalize, allowing space for our imaginations to go deeper and deeper into their character. We only learn of them through their interactions with the central character and thus through their relationship. We aren’t in their head and so deprived of the straight facts on how they feel we must interpret through their actions and words.
Awwwhh, it’s a heady feeling – it’s the same way we feel when we meet a new friend or fall in love for the first time.
Hopefully every time we accept a challenge we come out the other side learning something from the experience, (relationships make character) because it’s through the refining fire of struggle that we become better.