02 03 Melody Jackson, Author: The Heart of a Character 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

The Heart of a Character

Hearts in nature - The blog has several unique natural heart pictures.So, I was just pondering the depth and authenticity of the character for my second book, and stumbled upon an interesting thought...
I think writers need to allow themselves to get uncomfortable with the real, true people who are their "characters". Too often we just want to see their good qualities or brush off a temper as the character's major bad quality to keep them from being flat (at least, I think that way).
But I think, as writers, we're required to do more than that. We poke and prod and torture our characters until they're screaming at us to stop, not because it's entertaining or we're cruel, but to see what they're REALLY LIKE. We watch them do the things they'd never do if they knew someone else was watching, even things they regret, and go "ah, now THAT'S who they are."
That's what the reader wants to see, a truly flawed person who has the same problems as we all, who may even be sometimes scary and unlikable because, admit it, we ALL have a dark side, and it isn't pretty.
And as I think about it, that's what I want to see, too. I put my characters through the fire, and it's their choice if they let it refine them or burn them. That's really how life goes, doesn't it? Whoa...
Just some ponderings as I learn more about my characters and their lives. I definitely see them in a new light though, and will be exploring the deeper parts of what makes them unique and human in a whole new way. Perhaps, in a later post, I'll even introduce you to them...

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