“Give them [your characters] a goal and throw obstacle after obstacle at them. If you don't care about your characters, your readers certainly won't, and will discard your story with a weary yawn! There is nothing worse than shallow, cardboard characters in a story. -- Alan To in Top Ten Tips for Writing Good Horror Fiction.I commented in previous posts about the difficulties I’m having completing the current short story I’m working on. The main character has a goal, and I’ve placed obstacles in his way; but I wonder if my problem is that neither the goal nor the obstacles are strong enough to turn my original idea into a story. The plot line has changed since I started. The original characters took me in a direction I didn’t want to go, leading me to a predictable ending. I eliminated two of the characters to focus more on the MC, Jeff, and his best friend, Erica. I don’t know why I’m blocked on this story. Maybe I’m tapping into emotions I’m uncomfortable expressing. Maybe I don't understand Jeff's true feelings. Maybe I don’t care enough about the pair and what happens to them to be able to tell their story. I’m going to give it one more try this afternoon. If I still can’t finish the piece, I’ll set it aside, work on something else, and come back to it another time.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Posted by Jim Harrington at 9:34 AM