Character Growth

That hat works better on me.

Just past the mid-point of the first Salish Rift novel, and I've noticed that some of the secondary characters are developing a bit of accent. I'm liking it. They speak the same language as the main character, but do come from a markedly different social class, so it makes sense. The accent doesn't come across so much in the written word, but it shows in the grammar. I'll have to take a note to myself to go back and re-write all the initial dialogue.

It's one of the more entertaining parts of writing. Characters grow and change and become more real and distinct in your mind. This isn't something you can plan for...at least I can't. They aren't "real" to me until they've been through some experiences, until I see how they react to the situations I put them through.

Another fund part of this is that the relationship between the two main characters is growing into a really deep friendship. I was unsure how I was going to write how an initial sexual attraction and experience develops into friendship. Writing it makes it clear, though. This is how humans work. We're not simple on/off switches, we build complex relationships with each other. Clearly I'm never going to make it as a romance novelist. But it's joyful to me to see how these two grow to respect and appreciate each other, and grow to love each other as friends.

Since I've already written a third of the following book, I know what their relationship is going to be in that one. I also knew I wanted to lay down some of the frustrations the one character feels over the relationship, and how that ties into a bit of a love triangle. It felt messy at first, but now it all ties together quite well.

The best part of writing is not the plans, but how the characters grow between the cracks of the plan.

Randy Packer

Randy Packer