Originally posted in October:
I may or may not have went on a rant involving fruit yesterday. Particularly strawberries and possibly pineapples. But that's for you to decide. For me, it's just fodder to think on. My favorite character? It's utterly pointless for me to know his favorite fruit. How's that supposed to get involved in a story where there are much bigger things going on?
We now interrupt this program to make you sniff the strawberries.
*Ahem.* But the strawberries are important to me. I force people I know to "throw strawberries" at me. I know whole, long, backstories. Some of which may never have any reason being in my story. Sure, Eve may have sent letters to her mother and her sister while she was under cover. Will they all end up in the book? Of course not.
Unwritten stories make our characters more real than they could be without them. You're not cardboard. You've got stories you're not willing to share with others, or stories that shouldn't be told. And lets face it: Knowing you ate pancakes for breakfast on your fifth birthday probably isn't going to have any revelance to us. Let's not make our characters cardboard. We see them as real people, and they are. To portray them as real? They'd better be as real as possible.
Don't be scared to ask stupid questions. Sure, your characters might raise an eyebrow at you and gawk like they can't believe what's come out of your mouth (granted, mine do that even if the topic seems more important. I don't usually do one on one talking with them. They don't like me doing that, really), but it's completely worth it. Would you like being in a grocery store? Why or why not? Is it too cold for you there? Some questions even lead to great ideas you never would've thought of before. Check it out: That irrelevent question just became relevent.
Sometimes you have to focus a little less on your no doubt fantastic plot and take a look at your characters. More often than not, they wouldn't really do what you wanted them to do. I might plan out a whole love story to look at my character and find out that he just doesn't see his "love interest" in that kind of way. Or maybe your main character isn't so insane as to run off to see the elves over the death of someone she didn't really know (gags. And why did I see that as a perfect plotline?).
We all have stories that are unwritten; ideas, thoughts, and emotions that we don't dare to write in a diary; feelings that can't escape our lips. Our characters are that way too. All we have to do is dive in and see what's unwritten.
-Silence K. Grulkey
P.S. Webs keeps changing my name back to Hotsauce. I'm still working on that, but yes, I'm Silence.