Sunday, August 28, 2011

Let People Be Useful

Today's post is a classic example of being both about life and about writing.

The first part is about life. Let people be useful. Everybody likes to feel as though they have purpose and use. Your friends generally are more than happy to help you out for that reason (and maybe because they like you, which is why they're your friends). Sometimes, even if yo do not need somebody's help, you should still let them help you, just to make them feel better. You help them out by letting them help you. Plus, if you consistently turn away help, people will stop offering to help you, which may one day bite you in the butt.

The second part is about writing. Stories need characters. They very often need more than one. As such, each character should have a purpose. It is easy to focus a lot of time and energy into one character. It is not a bad thing to develop your characters unevenly (some are more important than others, some are more mysterious), but if you let one character do 80% of the work, then the other ones are basically six-year-old girls.

Let your characters be useful. They may not all have their own unique skills, but they should all have input and should all have some significant effect on the story.

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