God! So I’ve had a bundle of characters slowly emerging into fully-formed characters instead of jumbled tid-bits of information in my head and when I finally got to introducing them in my novel, my mind went blank and I went into the “I have to write this well or else everyone will hate it mode,” and dear god that was the worst few minutes of my life because I felt so STUCK.
Here’s how I got around it.
First, I posted this on Instagram.
Then, I did a bunch of crappy stream of consciousness writing. I didn’t just stick to statements. I asked myself questions about the characters, where they were from, why do they look they way they do in my head, why do they act like that, who do they know, etc. It was a mental interrogation that got the gears rolling in my head. I did this for every character in the group and transitioned from spammed questions and anxiety driven writing to decent descriptions of my characters; who they were, what their abilities were, where they came from, how they got to the moment where they’re introduced in the story.
It was like:
Writing part of brain: Who the hell is?
Creative part of brain: Uhhh
Writing part of brain: Why do they look like that? Why do they sound like that? What happened to his legs?
Creative part of brain: I don’t really know. I think he shredded them into pieces?
Writing part of brain: Pieces…Fleshy pieces or mechanical?
Creative part of brain: Mechanical. He’s an android.
Writing part of brain: How the hell did an android like him turn out to be so crazy?
Creative part of brain: Well, it started with this girl he REALLY liked…
It was actually…really cool and gave me a little bit of hope for writing more about them today. Sometimes writing is just letting the words, no matter how delirious they sound, just flow. Trying too hard to sound like a narrator that says nothing wrong totally stunts the flare of any style you’re trying to add to your writing, I think. First is the writing, then there’s the editing. Sometimes you gotta get it out, goddamn it. Open the flood gates.