I wish I could express more clearly and eloquently how much this assignment to write a sentence for five aspects of my characters’ lives plus their short and long term conflict has wrecked my desire to work on my story, let alone think about my characters.
I know part of it is my bad habits: terrible focus and procrastination (hello, new trait!). Another part is my vicious despondency, which can make getting simple things done difficult. And another part is my weak characterization.
So, yes, some of it is stuff I should improve upon. I should get into my characters, think about them as they would. As a writer relative told me yesterday, it’s partly letting the characters manifest. Which is something I have realized recently. Characters have to live. For me, I thought once I had a deep sense of who they were, whereby I had an instinctual idea of how they would respond to events and others, I thought that would be enough. But I don’t think it is.
There has to be something conflicted or compelling. Characters can’t just be themselves. Something has to be going on with them or for them or you don’t have a story. And knowing when I’ve got a story or a bunch of facts is probably my biggest weakness.