One at a time, sure.
I’d never sat down with the three of them, not all at once.
It’s enough to drive you to drink.
Or for those with other proclivities, to write.
Or maybe both.
Driving 4,950 miles makes for plenty of writing time if you want it to. Best Beloved and I spent a few hours writing smells, sounds, and other sensory whatnots for anodyne, the first Jesse Donovan book.
When I started writing I made a classic beginner’s mistake: my first three male leads were all the same and they were all me. This is where it’s good to have an editor willing to say “Maybe people would like to read about someone else for a change?”
Prompted me to interview Web, Phil, and Jesse to see who they really were.
When you find yourself wondering why a character in a book or on screen is taking certain action, sometimes the problem is nature.
Nature conserves energy, physical and mental. We don’t take actions which we don’t believe are the minimum conservative necessary action. Our wiring makes us look for the easy solution to whatever comes our way. And if it’s something we can ignore, inaction is the ultimate conservation. We do nothing. Lots of it.
Making our characters do something because it’s good for the story is weak writing. Readers will sense something’s amiss because they instinctively grasp nature’s imperative.
I’m highly unlikely to walk out to the frozen edge of the lake and look around, just so some storyteller can make me find a body and let them get on writing their mystery.
Great character advice from Steven Pressfield in the form of a question:
When a character teeters on a knife-edge, we can’t take our eyes off them.
My characters feel a bit safe. For my light mysteries, that’s okay. For the deeper Chandleresque cozy I’m working on, Jake needs to be closer to the edge.
But wait and see what “edge” he’s close to.