I didn’t used to be, but here lately I have become a firm believer in exploring. Experimenting. I speak, of course, of the writing world – but I suppose this could be true of all things in life.
Working on short stories has helped me grow in so many ways. One of the most recent ways I’ve grown is by coming to realize some of my strengths and weaknesses. Discovering where I lack as a writer and where I succeed. It’s an incredible discovery, and one I feel will help me perfect my art.
My greatest weakness – as I see it – seems to be in character development. My stories almost never see a character change. I don’t do character arcs well. The people I write, the ones I create, they’re all sedentary. They don’t change. In fact, it’s often the opposite. Often I have found my stories to be about an inability to change. The Bloodsucker’s Butler focuses on a man who’s spent his entire life in weakness and self-loathing. And although the story shows an attempt to change, he ultimately fails. Many of my characters follow this same path and it’s something I want to change.
Not that I don’t see the value in such characters. On the contrary, I love them. They are a very real way I express my own seeming inability to change. They express my own frustration and the way I often feel locked into the behavioral pattern I have set for myself.
But I would like to experiment some more. I would like to see if I can write a story where a character changes. Where they have depth and appear more than 2D. I know it will be difficult. As with anything else, this will be trial and error. But how can I learn if I never dare to try?
So what about you? What haven’t you tried? What are your weaknesses and have you ever tried to write specifically in those weak zones?
Until next time,
Alexis A. Hunter