How’s your week been so far? I’ve been back and forth with my designer for a re-release on one of my books (which should be coming up here soon, I hope). Stay tuned for that.
Let’s get to it. A lot of times when I write fiction, I don’t really see myself in more than one character unless I really think about it. A long time ago (and yes I DO mind how long), I wrote a story about Garrett and his brother Ryan. Garrett’s the younger one with the head for business who’s smooth with the ladies, but Ryan is the older one who got thrown out of his apartment by his wife Claire because he can’t handle money.
I always visualized myself as Garrett, the one giving the advice about money, budgeting, and what-have-ya. I thought I was nothing like Garrett’s other side, the brilliant brother who got so frustrated about women he decided to ditch every single one after dating them for only three months, after an incident with one of them involving a banana cream pie and his face.
And I thought I was only a teeny bit like Ryan, who cooked and cleaned and gave advice about relationships and whatnot (in case you’re wondering, I do a mean load of dishes, and that’s about it, there).
But then I realized I was wrong.
What eventually comes out in the story is Garrett pushes people away because he secretly doesn’t think he’s deserving of their attention–that’s his problem. But what’s really the clue is that what he thinks about others, especially because he thinks his brother’s inept, petty, and what-have-ya, is actually what he thinks about himself, but in a different way.
And then he meets a girl he really, really likes and just can’t seem to make the obvious choice (obvious to everyone but him).
And that’s my point here.
I’ve seen people do things, and I “know” it’s not the right thing to do (especially if it’s about money). To me it’s obvious, but to them it’s not. But the thing is, I don’t know everything (and I don’t claim to–unless I’m extremely irritated, which doesn’t happen too, too often at that level). I can’t count the times I’ve done something stupid or idiotic, and someone pointed it out to me–it’s the same thing. I just don’t have the same set of skills everyone else has…or I’m a bit of a hypocrite and think I’m better than everyone else (because I can do things I don’t think other people can do, or should do). It’s extremely easy to be hypocritical–but I’m not saying you should try it.
Sometimes people know the right thing to do, and don’t do it because of fear of what other people will think, say, or do. I’ve had my struggles with that, too. Or they fear having things change–especially their circumstances or routine.
People are emotional. Because characters should be as close to people as possible, give them something to struggle with–something to solve that they can’t solve on their own. Let them fall down on their face a little.
Your prospects you’re writing copy to for yourself or a client are emotional too. The failing they’ve likely done on their own, but it will still be true that they won’t be able to solve a problem on their own without help from somewhere or something.
Lead your readers and prospects down the path with your characters (or themselves) to success.
Until next time,