Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life gets in the way

Sometimes we wake up and just know it will be a bad day.

Our blanket is on the floor, the alarm clock is broken, and we spill our cereal.

Eek.

Ever have one of those? Me too.

But what about your characters? Do you ever show them having one of the bad days? How do they manage it? Does this attitude affect their life and send the story off in a new direction? Maybe they are an eternal optimist who believes that missing the train means that they will avoid an accident, or dropping buttered toast down their shirt and having to change will in effect get them that raise.

Does having a story life have to be different from real life? I don't think so. Of course no one wants to read about a character who has ALL bad days and never sees a ray of sunshine. That would just be depressing. But I think most readers do want to read about someone who exists in a world that mirrors their own.

The catch is: be sure to show the outcome and how they worked around their bad day. That's what readers really read for. They want to see how your character turned a bad day (or several) into a good one. You know the 'old moral of the story is' thing.

Happy writing!

5 comments:

Marta Stephens said...

Great advice! Mine is having a few of those bad ones right now, but soon, very soon she'll have it resolved. ;)

Joylene said...

Thank you, Kim. My protagonist has been having a bad day since page one. I read "They want to see how your character turned a bad day into a good one." and remembered I knew that. But I'd forgotten.

Thank you!

Sheila Deeth said...

My characters' bad days always reflect my own, so I'm not writing today.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, Kim. Knowing you and Shannon (your protag), I know she will always turn lemon into lemonades. She's a real gem!

Jackie Fullerton said...

I love it when a character has a real life bad day. I can immediately identify with him/her.