It’s almost upon us! Because we’re right in the middle of the season of joy, here’s a question I’m curious to hear your answers to:
What about writing gives you the most joy?
Here’s mine: For the most part, I’m a pantser–I don’t plan ahead much when I’m writing a first draft. But there is one thing I do like to make a road map for, however rough it might be: my characters.
It doesn’t mean that my characters don’t end up shifting wildly away from what they started out as, but before I start writing, I always create character profiles. I love making up people. So many possible combinations! So many personalities and quirks to choose from! It’s like letting a kid loose in Willy wonka’s factory (look at all the levers! Rivers of melted chocolate!). Things I like to put into my early character profiles are random details like a person’s blood type or their greatest pet peeve, potential quotes that I imagine them saying, and who their favorite and least favorite people are. Do they each have a best friend in the cast? A rival? An enemy? I mix and match until I get a combination that feels good. Once I have a decent handful of main and secondary characters, I like to throw them into a room with each other and see what happens. From there, plot and scenes grow.
Getting to know imaginary people. Figuring out what makes them tick–and what makes them break. Learning about their connections to others in the cast. That’s what makes me the happiest when I’m writing.
How about you? What part of writing fills you with glee?