A Hard Time Connecting

I'm attempting a dystopian. I've attempted dystopian before, written pieces of some, considered some plot lines and characters, but this is the first time I've sat down and decided - I'm doing this.

The idea for this story came out of nowhere {I'll tell you about it sometime}, and the first thing to note is that the story came first. Often doesn't happen like that for me. Usually I get a character, or a couple of characters. This time I had a plot.

Then I had to find a world. Chose dystopian. It's not really post-apocalyptic, though I suppose it's post-post apocalyptic. There isn't a lot of blood or gore or zombies are kids killing each other. {Not that I don't read those books. I just finished The Scorch Trials. Dashner is brilliant. I can't put those books down.} It's just a medieval-ish culture with sweet technology, and I couldn't put that anywhere but dystopian unless I wanted to go the fantasy route, which I didn't.

This past week was the week of finding the character. Let's just say it's been difficult. A week ago, I couldn't have told you why I was having so much trouble, but I know now. Callyn is, as I told my lovely beta reader, "rebellious, headstrong, bossy, driven, passionate, loud, and independent. Everything I'm not."

Let's just say we've had a hard time connecting.

What about you? Have you ever invented a character you can't understand?


Sarah said...

That's a really good point. I've certainly created characters with different personality traits than mine, but they do always contain some element of me, enough for me to feel like I understand them. Or maybe I only *think* I do! Will have to ponder. Good luck with that WIP!

AimeeLSalter said...

I recently started a book whose main character came LAST.

Like you, I usually get characters first. Then I get the ending, then the world, then the plot in the middle, yadda yadda yadda.

This time I had an ending. I had a lot of plot, but NO main character and NO world. It took me weeks to figure out what was going on.

Now that I know though, it's exciting. I hope yours proves to be just as rewarding!

Sky Destrian said...

This is a belated comment, but I just thought I'd offer my thoughts on this.

I know how it is to not connect with your characters. Um, I know this feeling well. Ironically though, I identify with the characters that AREN'T like me, or at least have one quality that's different. For example, my NaNo female protagonist is extremely outgoing, brash, and somewhat roguish. Those are three things I am not, and yet I loved writing about Riah this year. I think it's the challenge of trying to get inside somebody else's head that really appeals to me. Also, while I'm not quite as outgoing as she is, I do have some strong/roguish/stubborn qualities, so basically I just magnified them when writing about Riah. :P

That said, after I finish my NaNo novel I have my next WIP in mind, and my main character in that will be more quiet and reserved (like me). We'll see how that goes. :P

Good luck in figuring out your characters! If you need some help, check out Beautiful People, a monthly blog party-of-sorts for writers (there's a page about it on my blog). Yes, it may seem like a shameless plug for my blog meme. :P I only mention it because I know it's helped me get to know my characters by asking questions about them.

At any rate, I hope you can connect with your MC soon, and that most of all, she/he starts cooperating. :P

Melody said...

Oh, don't worry, Sky! I've been getting so much use out of all the Beautiful People questions, it's ridiculous. And they've helped SO MUCH! Answering just one question will take me on a tangent of world-building, which I desperately need, and they've been invaluable! :)