Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Writing Wednesday: Problem Solving...

Okay, so near the end of my last post, I briefly mentioned Problem Solving Techniques. I said they were extremely important, mainly for your readers.

Problems in your character's lives are as important as drama. They ARE the drama. However, they don't have to be so dramatic. They can be simple or huge. They can seem silly or be very serious.

Whatever the problem your character is facing. Whether it be one or many, your readers will connect on a personal level if they feel it is something they are going through.

You want this personal connection. You need it. Your readers need it.

But here's the tricky thing... if you've never been through a situation similar to your characters, how can you write and relate?

A few tips that will help:

* Find someone who's been through what your character is going through. Ask them if they'd be willing to help you work it out.

* Look for books on the topic and find suggestions on how to deal with situations.

* Research online on other author blogs with similar genres and similar styles. Lots of authors post writing tips.

The fact is, there are so many articles and blogs out there with lists and lists on different writing tips, techniques, that you are bound to find something. I am just stressing the importance of getting your readers and characters to relate.

There is also a quote, from Pixar (apparently): "Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating."

You shouldn't make anything easy for your character. Some things will come naturally, of course, and there will be a significant amount of luck. But if everything just falls neatly into place, you are misleading your readers, your character and yourself.

People hope and pray and plead for every speed bump in their lives to either just go away or fix themselves. At the risk of sounding like a negative jerk, that's just ridiculous. Nothing ever fixes itself. You can think about a situation for hours, days, even weeks. Sometimes longer. Sometimes the solution does seem to just drop in our laps, but that is mostly due to the fact that we've figured it out already, it's been sitting right there in front of our face, but we were so consumed by the problem we didn't see the solution right away. Other times, it takes walking away from the problem to see the solution. And in other cases, you'll dream about a solution.

Remember, your mind works in mysterious ways. So will your character's. Every situation has a solution, some more permanent than others. Make it believable!

What are your thoughts about this post? Have any tips to share? Leave a comment below!

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