The official blog of Jane Domagala


If I was to say to you the sky isn't blue, you'd probably respond with, 'You crazy, bitch!' Or maybe you wouldn't, but you would think I had gone colour blind. But I say, it's a matter of perspective. Let's go into outer space for a moment and look down on the earth. Notice anything? We can see the blue of the water, the dark masses of land and white clouds. The sky (our atmosphere) has become as clear as glass. So whether the sky is blue or not is a matter of perception.

Who your characters are is also a matter of perception. All you see is a dangerous man stalking you. You don't realise he's actually trying to protect you from the terminator. A good way to show the many sides of your main characters is to have the reader view them through the eyes of other point of view characters. We all have a different opinion of who our friends and enemies are. You may think your protagonist is wise and kind, but is that what the other characters see?

For example, your mother thinks you're wonderful and doesn't mind you bringing over your washing, while your partner can't stand the way you leave dirty socks on the floor. Your co-workers think your strange because you like dragons, while your writing friends think... well they probably think your strange too, but not because you like dragons.

If you only have one point of view character this can be difficult to show, but not impossible. People adapt their behaviour depending on who they're with. You don't sware in front of your nana, but might curse like a sailor around your mates.

Ask yourself, how does your protagonist relate to different kinds of people? Do they treat the peasant on the street differently to the king? Do they say one thing and think another? How does their posture change around others? Do they stand tall in front of their friends, but shrink when their overbearing boss is around?

How do the other characters perceive your protagonist? Do women the women think he/she is rude, while the men find them hilarious? Is your protagonist misjudged by some and seen right through by others? Do others see the good/bad deeds of your protagonist? Do others wonder how your protagonist can be revered/loathed, while all they can see are the shortcomings/achievements?

Find the many facets of your protagonist and bring them out through the eyes of others, because from where others stand the sky might not be blue. 


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