This month we're talking about characters on the fringes.
I'm finding this to be a bit of a tough topic. The first place my mind jumps to is here...
Yeah, because fringe is fun.
But I don't think that's exactly what you had in mind LOL! So, what do I think about fringe when it comes to YA characters?
Something has come to my attention as I've been revising. I tend to under develop my supporting characters. I've been assuming that this was simply part of the layering process. I figured that I just hadn't quite gotten "there" yet, but now I'm not so sure. As I'm working on THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY, I'm wondering if the truth is that I keep them on the fringes on purpose.
When I pick a story to write, I like to take the bull by the horns. I know what issues I'm going to explore. I know what I'm trying to find out by writing this particular story. I make a conscious decision to take a very specific journey with a very specific character--my MC. We become traveling buddies who mostly have the same itinerary. But with my supporting characters--not so much. We don't negotiate our travel plans ahead of time. They have secret lives that I haven't really had time to ponder. They show me things that I hadn't expected to look at.
I think I'm a little bit afraid of them. It's possible that I work hard to keep them at an arms length, where they can't overwhelm me by who they are and what they need.
But in order to write a rich and fulfilling book, they can't stay there forever. So my goal as I work to revise, is to engage with those characters on the fringes. To discover who they are and what they can teach me. To open myself up to meeting new people instead of just hanging with the usual crowd. Because book life--writer life--can be just as hard to navigate as real life. But don't rule out how much better you'll feel if you just wear a little fringe from time to time.
How do you deal with the diversity of your supporting characters?