Story Character Sketchiness

Writing a first draft is like hopping in a car and driving without a specific destination. You go where you go. For example, just when I think I have Rose’s character down, she does something I don’t have listed on her sketch — like being late. According to my notes, Rose is a responsible employee. She’s smart, an excellent worker, has many awards for her contributions, and guards that fame in interesting ways. This week I had an idea to start a scene with Rose being late for work, and her expertise is crucial to winning a visiting client. Late? What could make her late? Guess I’ll find out soon.

I am not the most patient story writer. Sometimes I get so impatient that I write my story scenes out-of-order. For example, I couldn’t wait to write Rose’s first sighting of the petal collector. Even though I still don’t know what happened to make her want to take her life, I gave her a glimpse of the person who would make her even more unhappy. That’s the way I write — things go one way, then the other, and eventually they all meet to make sense and a story.

So, Rose is late for work, and I still don’t know why.

(Click here to see the beginnings of Rose’s story, The Petal Collector.)

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

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