Crafting Characters: A Form of Therapy
Creating a fictitious person is incredibly thrilling. It is so much fun to sketch a character for an aspiring story because the possibilities are endless. Unlike the people we encounter in reality, this character can possess the qualities we sometimes wish a family member, significant other, a friend, or even yourself had such as a wittier sense of humor, a kinder heart, or even some sort of talent.
As a child, I always wished I could sing. I used to belt out songs as loud as I could while playing outside or during a classroom sing-a-long. However, I was "blessed" with my mother's shaky, warbling voice that has been known to cause babies to cry instead of smile. Much to my dismay, as I grew older I found that it was a necessity to sing in the privacy of my shower or while vacuuming. It also didn't help that I had two girlfriends who had beautiful singing voices and when we were all in the car together, I would have to listen to the two of them chirp Mariah Carey's latest hit while I scowled out the window.
It wasn't until a few years ago when I noticed that creating characters had a therapeutic nature. I wrote a short story about a girl that could sing beautifully and it was almost a way of accepting the fact that this talent I wished to possess was never going to happen, but at least my character would.
So, if you are ever feeling stuck when sketching certain qualities about your characters, think about that talent you always wished you had but never quite found the knack. It very well could be what your story needs to become complete. And in case anyone needs me, I'll be singing "All I Want For Christmas Is You" in the shower.