Identifying habits is hard but rewarding personal work. For example, I know I can be irritatingly stubborn about things I “know” are “right.” I recognize this is a bad habit, but it makes me feel safe. At a young age, I felt that no one listened to me or believed me when I had an opinion. I watched my parents make some (I thought) bad decisions. I saw them suffer, so I stubbornly avoid certain things.
Knowing what my faults and failures are, gives me a chance to change them. And as a writer and performer, I can recognize them, and add them believably into characters.
I’m plotting for NaNoWriMo and my protagonist has my stubborn streak. He is very motivated to follow the rules, pull his weight, do his job. Today my exploratory writing revealed that his stubbornness is the result of him wanting unconsciously to atone for something. He grips his work and his goals stubbornly tight in an effort to keep himself from addressing perceived faults.
Parts of his journey are uncomfortable, like looking into a funhouse mirror that distorts your image. My nose is big, but is it THAT big? I’m stubborn, but am I THAT stubborn? Plotting out his “life” for the duration of the “novel” has included determining how his stubbornness will help him through the book…and hamper him, which reminded me of this sketch.
Mr. Finnemore has written a perfect example of stubbornness hampering his characters’ lives. Their story has a moral. I’m hoping my character can figure it out, and tell me what it is.
(I have the CD collections. If you do too, this is Series 3-4, Track 5, 0:00)