Recently in one of the many articles and books on writing that I have, I read that each character in your short story or novel should have a fatal flaw. That flaw should cause the character problems (conflict). From that conflict, the character should either grow or be punished in some way. I thought this was pretty sound advice. I am in the process of trying to give more depth to each of the characters in the book Larry and I are writing, which has turned out to be easy for some of my characters and a little more difficult for others. For one of our three main characters, Captain Tuku Uthuru Rodriguez, I am having trouble deciding on a flaw for him. At first I thought it might be overconfidence but I’m having second thoughts about that. A second main character, Lourdes Velasquez, uses her sexuality to get things. This is her flaw and it’s fun to work with. I am looking for a more exciting or dangerous flaw for my detective. So, if anyone reading this has a suggestion put it in the comments and I will give it some consideration. If I get several different suggestions, I’ll post them and let all of you vote for the one you think would make the book the most interesting. The Captain is the head of an elite squad in the Major Crimes Division of the Peruvian National Police.
In the meantime, edits and chapter rewrites continue as well as a little work on a few short stories. I haven’t done much since my last entry since I’ve been sick. It comes and goes like most of the colds I have had in my life. I’ll feel great for a few hours and then break into sweats and have to take a nap. I’m pretty sure it’s over now. Another day to get my strength back and I should be back to normal. Writing when you’re like this, especially when the sinuses are involved, is like thinking through a head full of cotton. Ideas and plot structure just do not come easily. I read one author’s advice to never write when you don’t feel like it. If you do those areas will probably be cut later anyway.
Developing characters is another chore but one that I am finding necessary for a good book. My problem is that I find my characters developing in ways that I didn’t anticipate as I work on the books I am writing. I suppose that’s a good thing but it means you have to go back through your writing and make sure you don’t have them doing something out of character without good justification. I enjoy character development the most in my writing. Each person in the book becomes real to me and hopefully to anyone who reads my writing. There are several places on the net where you can get an exhaustive list of questions to ask yourself about your characters. I find some of them useful and others not. They all give you a good idea as to the depth in which you should be familiar with your character as you are writing about them.
In case you haven’t noticed, I have decided to devote more space on my web page to the art of writing and more specifically, the characters in the book we are working on. I will update it with any travel news or important happening in my life in Peru occasionally. Happy Hump Day everyone. Now, if you want to be a writer, sit down and force 500 words onto paper.