Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Revenge of Chemical X!

Or: Saturday is easily amused. But doesn't that sound like some horror movie from the seventies or something?

Earlier this week we got an email that inspired us quite a bit, enough that we decided to do a sort of theme week.

Julie asked:

I was wondering if y'all would write a post on the "Chemical X" in writing. Let me explain. Earlier today, I had a conversation about the show The Powerpuff Girls and about "Sugar, spice and everything nice... and then some Chemical X." In the story, Chemical X is what brought the girls "to life." During this conversation, my brain started to wonder to my favorite topic writing. I wondered how to add "Chemical X" to my characters to give them life. I understand that every character is different and that the writing "Chemical X" isn't a stencil or anything, but I was wondering what y'all do to add Chemical X to your characters.

Thanks for the question!

Well, I've blogged about how I develop characters a couple times here, but it's always a fun topic to talk about.

For me, one of the biggest thing that adds "Chemical X" to a character is thinking about how they're screwed up. No, seriously. Perfect people are boring to read about. Every single one of my main characters (narrators) have issues.

One character had a seriously not pleasant childhood. Quite obviously, that's given her some major issues. She's sometimes selfish, self-destructive, relationships (with anyone, friends, relatives, boys) somewhat confuse her. She's also one of my favourite characters to write.

Another character also had an unpleasant childhood, in a different way. But she also had something happen to her before the book starts that colours everything in the book. She's depressed, she doesn't trust people easily, she has nightmares. She's heartbreaking to write, but I think she's interesting.

That's one of the ways I add "Chemical X" to my characters. Stick around for more on this!

Peace and cookies,