Anne Lamott and Characters
Creating characters is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. It can also be one of the most frustrating and most mysterious. After all, you’re crafting a fully formed human being from thin air. Someone who didn’t exist before not only has to exist now, but must do so in a complex and believable way. Where do you even start?
The important thing to remember when building any character is that it’s a slow process. Characters rarely (I almost want to say never) pop fully formed into a writer’s mind. We may have certain aspects of a character very clear in our mind (they hate being told what to do, they love soft jazz, they’d give anything to achieve X goal, etc.) but other things will be hazier. And we often won’t know what’s in those hazy areas until we have to go exploring in them. Just like the undeveloped sections of a polaroid picture, we can guess what might come into focus, but ultimately what does may be a complete surprise.
That’s what makes it so fun.
LESSON LEARNED: HAVE PATIENCE – CHARACTERS WILL REVEAL THEMSELVES TO YOU WHEN THEY ARE READY.