Monday was just a horrible day for writing, and since I will be giving myself the option of taking one day off I took it. I was emotionally drained and not in a good mood. It took some sweet talking from B to get me straightened back out, and a few tears but I’m ready to face the challenges again.
Life gives us plenty of examples of conflict and roadblocks in our own lives. Some of it we do not even realize that we conquer it happens so fast, like the decision to get out of bed to go to a job we do not like. And others are long drawn out decisions that take days or even weeks to sort out.
It should be the same with our characters. If you have a well made character they should face a variety of problems throughout the story. Not only that, but those problems should fit seamlessly into the story. The little problems that we all face, like not having enough gas money to get somewhere or the plumbing isn’t working right in the house, give us opportunities to display how the character reacts to each problem or in some cases several at a time.
The problems that they face are going to depend on the setting and the character itself. A very emotional modern character will probably get upset over either of those problems. A stolid character might just shrug and find a ride with someone or fix the plumbing himself. But if your character is in a different setting, say for example 300 years ago, he is not going to worry about the plumbing, perhaps about carrying water in a bucket, but not plumbing. Nor is he going to worry about gas money, he most likely walks where he needs to go. In this instance, toss something appropriate at him to worry over or to mess up his life.
The fact is, no one’s life is without all of those little problems that we all face. Our characters should not be any different. You can show a lot just by having them face those problems and work them out. And sometimes that helps you know your character a lot better than you realize.