Listen to Your Characters

I’ve spent the last week reading the notes and stories I’ve written over the years. I’ve also sketched out my new concept and researched a few ways to twist some existing ideas into something unique and different.

As I began typing, I realized that I could launch my story into the looking glass from either a fantasy setting or a modern setting. A triggering event is a triggering event, regardless of whether the event is magical in nature, or scientific. So I sat down to sketch out a couple of different scenarios and thoughts. Here’s an excerpt from my virtual notebook.

{Need to decide where MC and family originate. fantasy-inspired world? “modern” setting? I like the idea of starting in a fantasy setting and using magic as the catalyst into other worlds. On the other hand, starting with a modern setting might give the characters more snarky dialog.}

~Thoughts on a story

I chased both those rabbits down the hole and ended up at the same tea party. It doesn’t really matter where the stories originate, the result is the same—a character is thrown into an unfamiliar role.

Once I’d played a hundred questions, I started thinking about who would begin telling their story. It turned out to be not one character, but three. The antagonist made it a point to spent a couple of days making my acquaintance. He is quite an interesting guy. His name is Talbot, and he has been misunderstood from the beginning. At least that’s his story. And he’s sticking to it.

The twins, Elaina and Eliam, jumped right out in front, too. Pretty much polar opposites, those two, but that’s what makes them a great team. What one doesn’t think of, the other does. And they balance each other perfectly. I can’t wait to convey their adventures. Those two have been a handful to sketch out—always interrupting each other.

I’m a long way from finished. I know they all have a lot more to tell me. My research has led me to some places that I’d like to spend more time exploring when I have time. For now, I keep adding bookmarks so I can go back for additional information later. Over time, I’ll get a feel for which bookmarks to keep and which to delete. For now, though, I just need to keep moving forward.

When I know which character jumps through the looking glass first, I’ll tell you. Although Talbot has been so talkative, don’t be surprised if he tells his story before the other two can gather their thoughts.

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