Anne here - well barely.
I've found myself in a corner where I see new projects glowing at me, old ones covered in dust waiting to be edited, and current ones that are on their last leg, begging to be finished. Part of my brain wants to keep grinding on my current projects, a well played move, but the other half wants something new and shiny and the feeling of a fresh start with new projects.
Of course I started the new projects, even if it's just the synopsis, cover, and first few lines. This post is not about that, though, I just wanted you to see where my brain is coming from this week. A place of productivity hiding a larger procrastination issue.
With that opening, I would like to talk about character building and how bad I am with it. Here soon, I'm going to start forcing myself to do character sheets, whether I'm the one making them or filling them in from a template. I'm not sure why I haven't started them a long time ago, especially given the fact that I forget about half the stuff I need to build the character a quarter of the way through the book. I tell myself every time, Oh I don't need to write that down I'll remember it! Surprise, surprise, I never remember what I need to.
With the sequel for Once Bitten, Twice Turned about half done, something that should have happened, like a year ago, I really need to start filling my characters out better. The first book was okay, it could have been better, but it wasn't as much of a disaster as my first official book baby, who's name we do not speak. What's more unique with this sequel is that I have more details about the clones we see in the first one, and the secrets behind them. What's difficult about that is not letting them be the exact same person. Each clone has their own personalities that help differ between the original and the remakes. With that, I find myself actually cloning them and creating two or more of the same character which isn't good.
Here lays the need for actual character building, the right way, not the way I've been doing it. This isn't isolated to just this sequel, but to most of my MCs and their love interests or side kicks. They tend to blur together, to act too similar to be different characters and I fear that it's becoming mundane and two-dimensional.
It's not just because of the lack of character sheets or notes but because I really love the dynamic between the tough female lead and the soft male side character. It's my bread and butter, if you haven't noticed by now. But they can't all be like that and I really think that's why I want to do new projects because I have so many new ideas for these tough assassins but I have no where to start their journey before putting them on the page. Hence the need for these sheets/notes.
I think the point of the post is to say that I could use some character help but I absolutely won't ask for it. I'm going to start with a template and see where that gets me. I want to build them up from nothing, but they still need pasts to begin in, if that makes sense. It's like creating the worlds that they live in. It can be based off the real world, but without living in those specific places, it would be hard to get every detail so I go off what I think the place would be like or I do an entirely made up place. All this is fine, but having notes or a sheet that outlines these things would work a lot better - I hope.
This post is basically a call out to other people that are stuck in old habits thinking they will still get them to the same finish line. Well it's time to change those habits up, because the ones I have now aren't getting me to the finish line I want to be at. Sure, I'm getting somewhere, but it's not where I need to be. I need to start putting more effort into the thing I love so much. I know it's hard when I have bad weeks, months, or more than that. But I'm the only one kicking my ass, so I need to stick to something that will improve me, not keep me where I'm at, stuck in a mess I created.
It's time to clean that mess up, fix my mistakes as I own up to them, and get on a track that I can see a future in. That's been a big issue for me lately, on top of others. I don't see a future, not in the sense that I don't see myself waking up tomorrow, don't fret. It's more like I don't see where I'll be in a year or longer and that's terrifying. I used to know and there were times I didn't care at all, and I find myself stuck in between those two moments in time. I care but I don't care. I know a lot of it has to do with how I use my time. Sticking my head in social media where it doesn't belong and that's something I can heal from but I need to force myself down some sort of path before it's too late.
I know that just makes things harder on myself but I think it's time to make things harder. If I don't put goal oriented obstacles in front of myself, then I will do nothing. Plain and simple, and I'm tired of that.
Let's start by creating better characters, that's the least my readers deserve and it's a good stepping stone. Even if it's a little late to the party.
Read the free stuff here:
Read the first book in the Hybrid Theory Series here: (the audio version of it is bomb, FYI)