Many of my characters spring to my mind fairly well formed, and I just need to fill in a few details here and there. Michael, for example, was already wearing a suit and was pretty clearly disinclined to get involved in the Demon Realm BS the moment he walked around the corner to find James dying under that debris.
One of the characters that introduced himself recently showed up fairly complete. He’s young, a musician, a minor mage who can’t even throw a decent fireball and doesn’t care. He told me about his unfortunate family history and his rough start, and how proud he is of where he’s gotten in life. But there are a few other things he told me about himself right away that are going to be important, which brought up a bunch of things about a minor character from another story that becomes a main character in this journey.
The trouble started when I realized how severely this information was going to impact the story. Not so much in terms of the plot (it’s pretty straight up a chase-and-capture sort of kidnapping thing) but the way the two characters interact with each other is going to be deeply affected. And, frankly, the second character is stumbling around either unwilling or unable to answer my questions so I can work out the character arc for him.
It’s getting to be pretty frustrating, and I think I’ve come to realize that he simply doesn’t even know. Which means I, as the author, need to do some digging. Not just into his past (which I needed to do anyway, for motive reasons) but about real life, human nature, sexuality stuff that is pretty far outside my experience.
I’m not sure how long I’m going to need to dig into all this, frankly, and it’s a bit frustrating to me. As a natural Pantser, doing all of this research before I even sit down to write anything is making me a bit twitchy. Still, I’m glad I’m doing it, since it’s giving me some real insight into Greg, and hopefully it will make the story that much stronger. Assuming, of course, that I don’t totally screw it up.
I make no promises…