Developing characters in a novel can feel like you’ve entered into a new relationship. The difference is that you can delete, erase, or change pieces that you don’t like to create ideal characters. You can even go on dates with your antagonists without worrying about being in danger.
Dating week continues so that you can get a full glimpse of how are character walks, talks, and dresses. I spoke about Valentine details, made sweet metaphors, and had coffee together. Now, it’s time to get serious. You’re going to meet for drinks and casual conversation before we decide whether or not we have the right character to move onto date #2 and #3.
The goal of the next exercise is to get an idea of a different time of day and get more details flushed out. Ask the following:
- You meet for drinks. What time do they arrive? Early? Late precise?
- How are they dressed for an evening out at a moderately or expensively priced place with cocktails? Think about details. Do they button each button? Do they roll their sleeves? Dresses or pants? Wrinkled or just out of the dryer? What is their color palette?
- Are they wearing lipstick? What kind? What does it smell like? Are they wearing aftershave? How do they smell?
- Did they get their first and order without you? Or did they wait by the door?
- What drink did they order? Do they order for you?
- What kind of conversation starter do you have? Most dates will ask how you’re doing. Do you start with the weather or go into another round of speed dating questions?
- Do they have any nervous tells or fidgets?
- Is there anything cute or annoying? Can you live with the annoying part another day?
- How attractive are they and why?
- How do they end a date?
I hope these questions help fill out your character sheets. If you’re still at a loss, then get out Youtube and look for dating scene clips. Think about the memorable moments you want to create for your characters. Remember, writing real characters helps your audience connect but writers are allowed a little fantasy too. A good story will hold together with or without the steamy scenes.
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