Saturday, March 25, 2006

JUST FOR FUN: Characters Will/Will Not

1. Characters will divulge story plot and descriptions at a
comfortable pace, in a place where obtainable writing (or
recording) material is available (cars are off-limits), and will
adhere to strict times of quiet during the author's need for
sustenance, "real" work, and sleep.

2. Characters will not wake the author at 3 AM to reveal some
important tidbit of information, and then allow the idea to
evaporate before proper writing materials are located (See Rule

3. Characters will not change their name once a moniker is placed
upon them. This goes for eye and hair color, age, race, height,
body type, gender, clothing style, home village, job, etc.

4. Characters who manage to change their name or personal
description will do so early in the story, without several more
changes, and not close to the end of the project.

5. Characters will not swap places in the story. Antagonists will
remain as such. Ditto for Protagonists.

6. Characters will not balk at who (or what) is offered them when
suitable mates or sidekicks are created.

7. Characters will absolutely, positively NOT visit the author's
"real" place of work during business hours.

8. Characters will not take a vacation when the author finally
has time to write.

9. Characters will willingly accept their demise as the story
dictates. They will agree to leave the scene when called to do
so, and will not return to haunt the author or beg for a
miraculous "comeback."

10. Characters will not slip into other works-in-progress.
Cross-book/genre relationships are not permitted.

11. Characters brought into a story for the sole purpose of
delivering a message, or nodding their head in reply to a
question, will not be named. Take it or leave it.

12. Characters who are walk-ons (and who end up with a name),
will not displace already developed characters, nor take up
precious time or page space by divulging their life story. Under
no circumstances will they fall in love with the main character!

13. Characters will describe settings with enough detail to get
the scene rolling. The history of the land, or one's love life
exploits is not a one scene monologue.

14. Characters will never, ever utter the words: "Well, as you
know ..."

15. Characters will not offer information critical to the story
once the end is written and the story proofed, packaged, and sent

16. Characters who divulge the ending before the middle is
written will hang around long enough for the author to discover
how the heck they got that far!

17. Characters will not show up unexpectedly in the middle of a
hot writing session, only to start a whole new story (see Rule
10), but will wait patiently until the author has time to jot
down notes and get around to it. (See Rule 8.)

18. Characters will not divulge scenes and information pertaining
to the next six sequels and three "prequels" while the author is
in the middle of writing the first "stand alone" novel. (See Rule

19. Characters will limit their sequels to five books. Anything
beyond that may cause the author fall into a rut and produce
solely for the sake of money and fame.

20. Characters will not sulk when a manuscript is rejected, but
will get right back into the stream of things and offer a
brilliant rewrite!


Suzanne Mead lives in upstate NY and works as a musician and
gardener, and will admit to having an office job on the side.
She and her husband live in the country with an odd assortment of
characters who have yet to learn how to follow the rules.

Copyright (c) 2004 by Suzanne Mead



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