Day 12: Settings and character introductions

Discussions among other writers have led me to note my utter lack of character development and scene setting as a writer. I already knew this about myself, it’s true, but it’s stranger to note it when I’m deep into a story than as an abstract concept.

I have introduced characters, let them interact and make decisions, shaping the story and affecting each other–all without describing them physically at all. At this point, the reader would have no idea where they live, what their homes and bedrooms look like, what their personal style is or even their hair or eye color, for the most part.

I just don’t think that way, so when I’m writing without planning, those things don’t find their way in. My Autistic brain cares about what people say and do, but not really what they look like. I have difficulty identifying people based on their physical characteristics anyway, so it’s possible for me to have a friend for ten years and not know their eye color. I tend to forget that other people find these things important.

Obviously, I plan to fix that in revision. I do want my story to have a fleshed-out world, with characters you can see in your mind but still shape with your imagination as a reader.  I have no intention of straying that far from writing conventions, no matter how much I plan to tweak the general structure. But even though I’ll be fixing it later, it strikes me as bizarre, what my story must be like for someone outside my head to read.

What type of writing is most difficult for you?

Today’s word count: 3,304

Total word count: 35,331

Today’s excerpt: When the shrill noise cut through their hazy, perfect moment, Rina jumped back as though she’d been electrocuted. She smoothed her clothes and hair down, trying not to notice Liam looking like she had just slapped him across the face. “I have to go,” she said quietly, and left without saying goodbye. 


Day 12: Settings and character introductions

11 thoughts on “Day 12: Settings and character introductions

  1. I like setting, and description, but I find as I get older it’s less important to me–as in, not necessary. Characters look the way I want them to look, in my head, anyway.
    Great excerpt–I wonder what’s going on!!

    1. Toni Travis says:

      That’s a good point. I can understand caring more about your clarity in what they look like than making that clear in your writing. Still, you’re really good at description! 🙂

      Thanks. ❤

      1. I’m not sure I followed–what?
        Thanks! That’s a high compliment! I’m not so sure it’s true, but thanks!! 🙂

        ❤ ❤

      2. Toni Travis says:

        I just meant that it matters more that YOU know what they’re like while you’re writing than whether or not it’s clear in your writing. 🙂

        You’re welcome. ‘Tis true.

      3. Oh. Well. My point was that when I READ, the descriptive stuff matters less as I get older–not just about when I write. Because, you know, I am the builder of worlds so even other people’s worlds (and characters) get written for me in my head–down to the last eyelash.

        Thanks. 🙂 *blushes*

      4. Toni Travis says:

        Oh! That’s good to know. Cool! That makes sense, though, since you create your own versions. ❤

      5. 🙂 🙂 Pretty much.
        It applies to more than just fan-fiction though, in case that wasn’t clear/didn’t make sense.

        <3ing you.

  2. Thank goodness for revisions otherwise my novel would be a shambles. I tend to run the other way in that I’ll write two whole paragraphs about description of what a character looks like. Not in a very creative way either. It’s all he had this coloured hair, this colour eyes, he’s this tall. So dry. Yet when I read other book they blend it in so well. I guess I have no choice but to steal their methods 🙂

    I tend to be the one who had no idea how much scene description to put in. I always get comments like “I couldn’t picture what this looked like” In August I will edit and make things better.

    1. Toni Travis says:

      Seriously, I’m pinning all my hopes on revision when this is done. Figuring out how to copy better writers seems to me like the best possible plan, otherwise how will we know how to describe just enough? 🙂

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