|That'as me on the left, behind Tomo :)|
I missed Circa Survive last night in Leeds, which was gutting because I haven't seen them in 4 years. Anyway, enough of my whining.
As you will probably get to know, I'm a character-driven writer. Many writers are different in their approach to storytelling, but for me, the characters are the most important part. I start with a character, and my story comes from there. So for me, getting to know my characters is key. If my story is struggling, I find it most useful to get to know the central characters better, or even some of the lesser ones. In fact, I've found that its when I examine the lesser characters more closely that more plotlines jump out.
For example, a minor character in Cosmic Questions, Andy, was feeling rather flat. As I started to think about him more, he became meaner. He originally only appeared in one scene, nicking a hat from Lauren (a main character) and running off. The point of the scene was to show Lauren's apparent crush on this guy and Ryan's response. But I started to think about his motivations, and how he in turn felt about Ryan. After all, Ryan is very close to Lauren - maybe he's jealous of Ryan?
But it came out that it's more than that. It's not even that he's jealous because he likes Lauren. He's jealous because Ryan is so oblivious and innocent. It's the classic bully syndrome - taking out his anger on a supposedly weaker person, who apparently has more to offer. He's a button pusher. To divert away from his own problems, he ignites those of other people. And so all sorts of twists and turns in the plot came to mind.
I think Dominic, Lauren's dad, is next on the list. I don't know him very well, and I need to.
Also, on topic, I've been working on a couple of paintings - one of Ryan and one of Lauren. I think it's a really good characterisation excercise, as you get to know a person's physical identity more through each layer of paint. The way I work with painting is working and reworking, constantly repainting various features until it looks right. So it's an intense look into the character's identity - especially when it comes to expression and the eyes. You can tell so much about a character from their eyes and the way they look out of the canvas.
I'd better leave it there, as the other half is asking for his laptop back.