Writing Update + Changing One Aspect

It’s time for another writing update! I’ll also be talking about how changing just one aspect of a character can open a story up and cause it to move forward after being stuck on it for a while.

So, firstly, I’m going to try and write the Matthews Family series TV show-like. There’ll be a ‘pilot episode’, which will be a novel, and then a ‘Season 1’, which will be a compilation of short stories, each around a few thousand words. Times it by 4, and you’ve got the Matthews Family series!

Secondly, The Woodsman has been getting some brainstorming lately. Which is nice. I also gave myself and a writing friend a bunch of feels in the process, so there’s that too.

Now, on to the main topic.

Sometimes, a character doesn’t always stay the same from the beginning. They could turn from a villain to a hero, or they could gain or lose a certain physical aspect.

Such as one character going from not being able to talk to being able to talk while another character goes from being able to talk to not being able to talk.

In the first situation, I ended up with banter between the two main characters, multiple scenes, more character development, and a different plot as a result. I also changed one other physical aspect of said character, in that he no longer wears a gas mask to cover up his scars.

In the second situation, I ended up with a few more scenes and a slightly different plot to a story that still needs a better title than the main characters’ names. And I brainstormed about it more last night and early this morning.

Or maybe a character that was originally not an amputee ends up becoming an amputee…and it ends up making more sense, for both the character and the story.

If a story you’re writing has stalled, take a step back and examine the characters. What would happen if you changed just one physical aspect-including their clothing-of their character?

What if you gave a character one blind eye? Or put blue hair on another? Defined their flannel as being the red buffalo check? Gave them a limp from a childhood accident?

Whatever the case, when you’re stuck on a story and trying everything to get it unstuck, try changing a physical aspect of a character or two. You might just end up with a whole new slew of possibilities, for both the story and the characters.

Tell me your thoughts below! What do you think of changing a character’s physical appearance?

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