Credible Characters

The weekend propelled me forward whist clothing me again in my discarded mantle. The same experience: push, pull.  PD requirements for my registration, reminded me of the miracles possible with correctly prescribed exercise and reinforced my choice to become a writer.

write-fullThe venue for the course was a Rehabilitation Centre where I had worked thirty years previously. It evoked a multitude of memories. Emotions surfaced first and led me back in time to the ward where I worked, the house in which I lived and a friend’s place.

Physiotherapy me: if I wrote it down, what would I include, so you be interested enough in my story to keep reading?

  • What shoes did I wear to work?
  • What were the buildings like?
  • What were the things I loved about the job?
  • Did it smell? How?
  • How did I get to work?
  • What did I have for lunch every day?
  • Two memorable clients sprang into my consciousness, old ladies then. How would I write the dialogue between us?

I drove to our old house, retracing the route, I had cycled every day for two years. The roads had changed, a new bi-pass bisecting my path. The once so familiar, dimmed. Trusting my instinct, I tracked back to our first home.

  • What colour was it?
  • How did the garden look?
  • Any pets?
  • What was the neighbourhood like?
  • The vibe, was it a happy place?
  • did the front door squeak?
  • How could I weave these thoughts into a piece of writing to give it more depth? If not these, what else might I reveal to a reader?

Continuing down the road I drove past a business owned by a close friend at the time. Characters need interaction. Friends, families and foes give us insight into the emotional and psychological makeup of our characters.

  • What do our friendships reveal about us?
  • What kind of people do we surround our selves with?
  • Are they value adding?
  • What kind of things do we share?
  • Do either of us have annoying or bad habits?
  • Is the friendship toxic?

If you are writing a memoir, take time to travel back to old haunts, meet up with friends and compare memories giving you more depth. Take a note pad and have some fun.

Do you have any quirky character development questions you’d like to share?

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