Spotlight on Writing
Flaky characters can be tricky to write.

This month, I was mildly productive. I managed to put another Simon chapter behind me (thankfully, because Simon and I do not tend to gel very well). Cassie is a much easier character to summon: she knows what she wants, and she doesn’t hesitate the way Simon does. Because of this, her chapters seem to have a purpose that Simon’s chapters lack.

One of the hardest things to achieve on the page (or at least I think so) is toeing the line when it comes to a flaky character. In real life, people flip-flop between choices—what’s decided on one day may not be the same as the next. But when you have a character exhibit these traits, if you’re not careful, it can come off as inconsistent. Readers expect to see a character arc. The character starts off with a specific belief, and through a series of events, that belief is challenged and transformed in a linear progression. It doesn’t waver from one moment to the next. Or at least not usually.

But because our character is a bit weak-minded, and because this is something that is quite common in every-day life, it makes me want to rise to the challenge. To discover a way forward where Simon can continue being his flaky self until he finally learns his lesson.

Personal Update

If you read my last post you’ll know that my husband and I are expecting, and we’ve had a bit of a challenging journey so far, with a range of complications. We were sent to a maternal fetal medicine specialist to confirm the diagnosis. Officially I have Vasa previa, placenta previa, and marginal cord insertion (not velamentous as they suspected and I wrote about last month, though it’s very similar). My obstetrician said if it doesn’t resolve, I will be admitted to hospital at 32 weeks, and will have a planned c-section at 34-35 weeks. I knew this was on the cards, but it’s so strange to hear it said by someone else. Especially when he said, “you’ll likely have your baby in 10 weeks.”

Phew. 10 weeks seems like no time at all. We’re slowly preparing, but it’s an odd thing when you’re high risk. Most people don’t announce until they get to the 12 week mark, because that’s when the risk of miscarriage reduces significantly. And, that’s also when couples start thinking about making some purchases. But when you’re high risk, no time feels completely safe. I’m now 25 weeks and it still feels nerve-wracking to be buying things. It becomes a tug of war between getting ready for a baby who may come a lot earlier than planned, and not buying anything too soon, ‘just in case’.  I’m slowly collecting things though, and even making things. I have a super cute bunny crochet pattern that I’m creating. If you’re interested and a keen crocheter, I got the pattern off Etsy and it’s been pretty straight forward so far. I’ll post the finished pics when it’s complete!