The All-New “Character Invasion” Series

Due to the positive feedback I got regarding my Veronica Bishop post, I’ve had a SPECTACULAR idea.

I’m starting a new blog series called “Character Invasions.” And you know what? I need YOU to make it happen! Here’s the 411.

(Oooh, hello 1998. Did I really just say that? Mmm. Pretend that never happened.)

What I meant was, here’s the basic idea if you’d like to participate:

1. Think of a character in your work-in-progress manuscript that is giving you problems.

2. Resist the urge to punch that character in the face. First of all, they’re fictional, which makes it really hard to punch them. And second of all, violence is NEVER the answer.

3. Unless you’re being attacked by a wild dog, in which case violence – and specifically a well-placed kick to the groin – is ALWAYS the answer.

4. Did you see that? It only took me until Point #2 to get off track. That’s gotta be some kind of record.

5. Once you’ve thought of the character that is giving you issues (you can’t figure out their voice, or you keep changing their backstory, or you can’t decide what they look like, etc.) begin constructing a scene in which that character INVADES your real life. Maybe they pull up beside you in a parking lot, or you run into them at a grocery store, or (as in the case of my own Veronica) they just show up at your house in the middle of the night.

6. What would they say to you? And what would you say to them?

7. Hash out the problem. FORCE your character to talk to you about why they’re being so difficult. Admit your own weaknesses and work through them until you come to a solution. And use the scene as an opportunity to show who your character is. Give them mannerisms, a distinct voice, a…well… a character.

8. Watch in fascination as your character becomes a little more real to you and a tiny bit less difficult as you work your way through the scene. I promise, it will help.

(Side note: If you don’t have a difficult character at this point in time, the first thing you should do is CALL ME AND TELL ME YOUR SECRET. Then, you should go ahead and write a Character Invasion scene anyway, using whatever character you want. You’re a writer. Be creative. It doesn’t all have to be conflict and hostility.)

If you’re interested in participating, shoot me an email via the contact page or leave me a comment here. If you send me a Character Invasion scene, I’ll post it on my blog from Friday evening until Monday evening, along with a photo of your pretty face and a link to your blog. We’ll have a new one to look forward to every weekend!

Incidentally, my friend Carol did something very similar to this a couple years ago when she hosted Character Interviews. It was a lot of fun, and I think everyone would enjoy Character Invasions just as much! If you want some inspiration for what the final product should look like, just scroll down to the next post and read about how Veronica invaded my life. I’m sure yours will be way more clever than mine!

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5 thoughts on “The All-New “Character Invasion” Series

  1. Mercedes says:

    Oh, this is so timely. I have a character who is just giving me fits! Suddenly he 180’d on his personality. I’d love to participate!

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