While working on my new project, I came across something I wanted to share with you. Authors are constantly telling you to avoid stereotypes and to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to characters. I’d heard it, but I never fully understood the impact it could have on your work until now.
My next novel has a minor character who is an assassin. I was very tired when I wrote the scene and didn’t really try to figure out anything about the character since I didn’t think it mattered. I called him ‘Victor’ and went on writing. Or tried to, at least. I didn’t get very far before scrapping the whole paragraph. On a whim, I started over, this time calling the character ‘Viper’.
That little change got me much farther.
Why? Because Viper is a girl, and a very strange one at that. She’s supposed to be an assassin, yet her very being screams otherwise. White-blonde hair swept back into a ponytail, light blue eyes, minimal make-up, a cream-colored outfit, and heels. She’s mute, so anything she could say to negate the image she projects is not likely. While it may not be the most original appearance, I find myself intrigued now, and so does my main character. Viper opens up an entirely new atmosphere than the throw-away ‘Victor’ did, and for that, I am grateful.
I can more forward now.
So, today's lesson: Think outside the freaking box already! :D