Open up Characters

I’ve been working on characters. Still.

I’m the Kind of Person Who. . .

One suggestion I’ve seen lately is the idea of embracing emotion. For example, suppose a character is angry at someone, but they need to have an ongoing relationship.
A character might be tempted to say, No, it’s not possible. When I’m insulted like that, I’m the kind of person who can’t forgive and forget.

“I’m not the kind of person. . . “
By focusing on the negative, what the character would NOT do, you are shutting off a lot of potential emotion, creating a dead zone.

What happens if instead, you acknowledge that the offending person is still loved, but the source of hurt. Then, you have a more nuanced character relationship.

“I’m the kind of person who . . .” won’t let go of a relationship, no matter how painful. That leads to stronger conflict! Just what we want. Major conflict to keep the reader glued to the page.

You know–it’s exactly what makes romances work. The girl falls in love, but immediately has reasons why she can’t love this jerk. But of course, in the end, he’s redeemed as not a jerk and she does love him.

Try to find the positive side of a character relationship and embrace the pain of continuing in the relationship. Find the paradoxical emotions that exist and use them to create deeper relationships.