The main character of this 2019 Novel, covering thirty days at Eville Medical in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story,” will be Sammohini Lanchester who occasionally introduces herself as Sam. If she were a one-dimensional character, she’d be a stock character. If she were two-dimensional, she’d have three traits – two positives, one negative – to define her, based on people I might have met. Since she’s more three-dimensional, that means I’ve had to explore her imaginary psyche.
Sammohini is the oldest daughter of Divit and Brigit.
They are immigrants to the greater Eville area from Sindia and Direland, respectively, where they settled down to a small farming plot of land about one hour in good traffic outside of Eville where they could live autonomously free. She was raised with high expectations since her parents were well-accomplished in their home countries, and so she could have the traits of insecurity with responsibility and eagerness, but see, that’s where the two-dimensionality falters just slightly.
While a good biography, that just gives outlines to Sammohini’s personality.
Can she be secure? Irresponsible? Lazy? Certainly! If we add details into her character, such as how she’s eager at work to do and learn as much as she can, and outside of work she’ll be more likely to want to munch of food and relax, then those contradictions help build a more well-rounded sense of who she is as a character. Does she work hard enough at work to exhaust herself at home? Does she work hard at Eville Medical so she can be lazy in her apartment?
These are thoughts to dig into when developing characters.
Some characters won’t have much of a thorough backstory, so they might be more two-dimensional, hopefully not one-dimensional, and that’s fine! It can be excessive and boring to have the minute details of minor characters weigh down the story and theme. Isn’t it enough for Sammohini to just meet someone? How often do we meet people and have deep philosophically psychological conversations about dreams, goals, and ambitions?
How often throughout an average month do we meet people?
To develop a three-dimensional character, you have to start with the one-dimensional aspects, then add, subtract, and let your mind explore the all-important question: How would Sammohini react in multitudinous situations? Will she feel scared or confident? Can she feel confident in one scene then feel scared in another similar scene later on? A contrived plot would show a linear character progression, although how often do you experience character progressions in your life?
How instantly does feedback soak into your psyche?
Sammohini might feel confident in one scene because she just had a nice meal or understands all of the terminology involved, whereas if any of those factors change, she could feel less confident. Isn’t that how we all act? A three-dimensional character, then, doesn’t quite have these character traits as defining characteristics, like her name being Sammohini, more they’re tendencies that happen more likely than not.
Our characters should reflect aspects of our personalities.
Yet we should be careful that they don’t become aspects of our personalities. If I were to use Sammohini as a vehicle to tell stories about my experiences, it would be effective in the short-term, but then in the long-term, her character would feel weird. There would be this fictional Sammohini character obscuring the truth. Instead by interpreting similar events that may or may not have happened through how Sammohini might approach them, I can use fiction to tell a greater truth about human nature.
Sammohini’s character reminds me of several sources.
Depending on what scene she’s in, whether hanging out with friends or meeting with doctors, she might act more or less like one source or another. Unless we go with the Imaginarium theory, where there is a central source of all characters, scenes, and stories in their unique timelines, and we merely glimpse into their events. With such a hypothetical, similarly to having Sammohini tell my story fictionally – if I were to force her personality into an insecure mindset, then she wouldn’t have many more elements to her character outside of that.
These are interesting ideas to consider, but I won’t consider them while writing.
It will all be a mad-dash to write as thorough a story as it needs to be, where Sammohini might learn some things about herself through the stories she encounters, and where maybe the reader, too, learns aspects of their personality in regards to how a character might meet, greet, and defeat challenges large or small.
Sammohini is no fantasy fighter combating minions to save the princess.
Whether Sammohini is an aspect of me, a tulpa, or a representation of a real “person” that has experienced these things I will write hopefully over the next thirty days, whatever she is, it doesn’t matter to me. I have a good enough idea of how she will act and react based on the amount I’ve already written about her – check out my older fiction – that this will just be a more in-depth and formal analysis of whatever it is I did back then, whether it was writing from imagination or perception.
Maybe in the future, I’ll read over writing tips about character-building?
For now, though, I’m of the mindset that it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all, so if I want to write about Sammohini and other characters in “The Story,” I can’t do it when I’m “ready.” Did I read enough books about storytelling? [No.] Do I understand Sammohini’s character enough? [Maybe.] Do I feel confident about mentally walking around Eville Medical? [Maybe.] How far away is Zbigniew’s Teriyaki from Sammohini’s desk? [5-minute drive, 10-minute walk.] Do they do delivery? [Yes and free within 10 minutes or 3 miles.] Answering some of these questions are great to have prepared, but you can also answer them as the story progresses.
Character building is just like any challenge in life.
Prepare yourself as much as you can, then recklessly wing the rest.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: For the penultimate essay before I begin writing my 2019 Novel, I figured I’d address the penultimate concern, character, like my previous entry addressed the antepenultimate concern of setting. What’s next? Since you’re here, I’ll tell you: purpose.|
|Related: Other 2019 Novel writings.|
|Picture: This picture is a bouncing-off point. It’s two-dimensional at best, and sometimes, that’s all you need.|
|Written On: October 31st, 2019 [43 minutes, from 5:25am to 6:08am, WordPress]|
|Last Edited: October 31st, 2019 [Second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|