many things she ought to understand

I posted last about how I could not figure out how of my characters and how do you add depth to a scene. There was a comment (I don’t know if you want me to use your name.) about how you should add details like–like she squinted out the window and pursed her lips in thought before answering.  This is actually something used by authors, if you happen to notice it. Oftentimes it helps to let the reader know who is speaking without having a bunch of “Bob said”s.

However, as I was about to answer her post, I realized what my problem was. My problem is pretty much that I don’t know my character. I honestly don’t understand Natlie.

So I did the most obvious thing to myself; I interviewed her. It went rather like this.

Me: So, Natlie, tell me some about yourself?

My head as Natlie: Well, I like being outside and I like visiting people. I’m so glad that we don’t live in those far away farms where they hardly get to see anyone for ages. Well, months at least, but that’s basically ages.

Me: How is your relationship with your brother?

Well, we get along fine enough I suppose. It’s only the two of us. HE does all the work on the farm and I help him with some of the chores but not a whole lot. But we’ve survived well enough together. However, he hates that I go to town so much. I’m not sure why.

Me: Does he not like you being an archer?

Natlie: Oh, no! He understands that perfectly. I just think he doesn’t like being around people as much as I do. He’s always been really supportive of me doing it, even though it isn’t that ladylike. He didn’t mind buying this bow for me at all.  I think it’s because he figures that so long as I have a bow, I’m pretty much safe from the dragons.

Me: So, if it’s just you and your brother, how did your parents die?

Natlie: It… it was because of the dragons. They–my family–was herding the animals towards the cave that we hide it when they come. It had been a dry year and we had a strong south wind. The grass just caught as soon as the dragon blew fire and–poof!–no more.

Me: Where were you when this happened?

Natlie: OH, I ran away. Not literally mind you. My mother wanted me to kneed dough and I wanted to make flower crowns. So I told her I had to go out back and ran as soon as she gave me the chance. I was only ten then but I never really liked housechores. I just do them because I must now.

ME: So how did Colton survive?

Natlie: He was in the very front of the herd and managed to run fast enough. When I heard the dragon call, I ran towards the cave too. And Colton… I thought it was my fault at first–that they went out and tried to find me. But it was just us.

So, that’s pretty much what I did. I guess it seems silly but it gave me a lot of good ideas. I think I now need to add two more scenes. One scene at the end of the story before the climax so that way people can see Colton’s and Natlie’s relationship and one scene where they see the dragons’ Crossbows burned, bot to make it seem real and unreal at the same time.

Which reminds me. I am highly suspecting that the characters are going to think that this can’t really be happening but I’m not sure how to quite write that so it doesn’t seem like the character doesn’t have any emotions either. It’s a weird thing to write, but something that happens a lot to myself as well.

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About Abigail

I'm an elementary education major at a college in the Midwest. I might graduate as early as December '13 but more likely May '14. I write when I can. I also knit on occasion, draw, do homework and contradict teachers to make people think. :)

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