Authors continually strive to create memorable characters that walk off the page like Scrooge, Harry Potter, or Grandma Mazur.
Some writers complete lengthy character questionaires. Others interview their characters.
I understand the reason for this process. It's vital to give characters flaws, foibles, and bad habits. But there's just one problem. I'm a pantser. Nothing kills my creativity or desire to write quicker than a questionaire!
So, how do I tackle characterization?
I ask one (and only one) question: Is this person a flower or weed?
This short, simple query gives me a clear indication of who this character is, yet it allows me to flesh them out more fully as I write the first draft. I'm neither restrained nor confined by this technique. It's flexible, insightful, and did I mention simple?!
It's also subjective. While you may view a particular flower beautiful, I might find it repulsive. The same works with weeds. Gardeners despise dandilions, but I adore them. They signify springtime and the end of winter. They're resilient, tenacious and cheery. Even sunny! All traits than can easily be applied to a person.
Is your character a flower or weed? The answer may just be somewhere in the middle, and how fascinating is that?
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