About a month or so ago, right in the middle of some revisions from hell, I got stuck. I think what drove me crazy was the fact that I knew exactly what I needed to fix. I just didn’t know how to do it. Or anything I’d write sounded awful as I read it back, over and over, until I scrapped most of my new words and started again. My characters needed more, well, everything. Layers, depth, warmth. You name it, my characters lacked it.
Then, while “researching” online as we all do, I came across Polyvore. That’s when I felt it. A flutter of excitement starting in my chest, spreading out until I couldn’t scroll through the options fast enough. The reason I became stuck in the first place was because I couldn’t figure out my heroine’s next step. On this website, I took a minute to revisit Alyssa. I guess it was kind of like filling out those character questionnaires before starting your story.
Only this time, I woke up with my character in the morning. Decided how she might dress. How would she style her hair. What colours would she choose?
I know this all seems really superficial, but it’s not. For example, below you’ll find a character sketch I created for Alyssa and Max’s first run in after years apart. Every choice I made helped me piece together Alyssa bit by bit.
Her blouse and skirt are sexy but at the same time modest. She’s still a little uneasy in her new life, but the structured clothes make her feel like she’s in control. Even though she’s panicking on the inside.
So then I thought, “Hm. I can do this with all my characters, even the secondary ones.”
It’s surprising where inspiration hides from you sometimes. I hope you can always find yours.