I’m a full time short story writer again. I’m writing and submitting a short story every week. I’m on my fifth week and I’m learning a lot just by doing the practice.
For example, on this week’s story I was having trouble making a character fit into the plot. I thought she needed to be there, but she just didn’t want to be, and I couldn’t understand why. For one thing, she was crucial to the ending. So I gave her more to do. I had her confront the hero of the story. I did her back story. I raised her stakes in the story. All of these can be effective strategies, but she still stubbornly refused to come alive in any way. She just wasn’t connected to anything else in the story.
Oh, yeah. Seems I forgot to do that. Oops.
So I gave her a relationship with another character in the story. I made her the hero’s friend’s daughter, and wow, everything just clicked into place.
It was obvious, but only obvious after I had tried just about everything else.
So I’m learning. Keeping my beginner’s mind and being open to the process.
I’ll let you know how it’s going.