If aliens were to come down and visit our planet, I wonder what they would say? Would they find us a bunch of superficial creatures as we stress about our clothes or latest sports bracket or game. As we walk or uber around the streets, electronics in our face, would they determine any depth of character? My hypothesis is they would if they hung around long enough.
It can be misleading at times. As I’m in study mode for a financial exam, I spend every morning at Starbucks and occasionally, I get distracted. I find myself people watching. At first, I catch clips of conversation that make me feel like I’m on an alien planet. For clarification, this is in somewhat of a big college town so a lot of the technology referenced in daily concerns, isn’t something I have much exposure too or even want much exposure to. But after time, you see the same folks come in and get to learning a bit more about them day by day. In most cases, the glimpses improve the perceptions of our race as a whole. We ar made up of layers… Tons and tons of layers.
As I got to thinking about characters in a novel it really dawned on me how difficult it can be to convey all these characters and their depth of character. In many cases, we authors only get to know our characters through our writing–perhaps that first or second draft. Even more so, it may help to take a step back from writing to come back later and see if you’ve truly captured the essence of someone’s character.
An exercise to try this week. Describe yourself. What kind of character would you make and how would you introduce your many layers to readers? Try it, it might be fun and eye opening.
Good luck and happy writing!