I read a blog post today on Writers Helping Writers that contained this sentence.
"Before randomly choosing a trauma from the past, think about who your character is and how this trauma could make their story journey more difficult for them. Get really curious about this."
I often think about my characters' past lives. Sometimes I'll have a page or two of notes for a relatively minor character. It's the only way (for me) to have a character act purposefully rather than just doing something I need them to do to move the story along.
Slowly I began to realize that those experiences really had shaped who they became as adults, I just hadn't done it intentionally. So I wrote a prequel, and as it evolved I learned a lot more about the adults they became. And they'd already appeared in six books!
A traumatic incident affected Jolie and Scoobie greatly -- in opposite ways. I suppose that makes sense -- easy and fun situations shape most people less than something dramatic (good or bad).
As a result of the prequel (written years ago) I have a character in the wings waiting for a spot in another book. Life does have its connections.
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