Month: October 2014
Have you ever anticipated eating something visually appealing, but upon the first taste it had no flavor?
Tasteless or over-seasoned characters can kill a book. A well-seasoned character must flow with realism, grow into a likable or loathsome individual, and have a basis for their actions. Personally, I like to build an attachment to them, root for their successes, or be grief-stricken by their losses.
When I first envision a story, I create the main struggle, then build the characters around it; however, I tend to produce more along the way.
Establish what they look like:
— Try to visualize what your character looks like. It’s not necessary to incorporate that in the first few pages, but it can be a slow introduction. The importance is to grasp a mental image of your character(s).
Add characteristics you are familiar with:
— Each character you create is a piece of your personality.
— Graft to principles you admire about them.
— Highlight the not-so-likable qualities.
Add traits which aren’t normal for you:
— Maybe a profession or hobby (you may have to research)? What sets this character apart from you?
— Add imperfect characteristics: flaws, disfunction, or some other trait that will make them more realistic.
Lastly, as weird as it sounds, become the character:
— When you are writing, you must step inside their head, see behind their eyes, and create scenes from their perspective.
— Every character feels emotions. Some characters may suppress feelings that others cannot see; however, their emotion is always visible to the author/reader.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, you cannot help but to feel sorry for the abhorrent monster—an intelligent, articulate beast.
“You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do; and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede.”
Just from that example, you feel the creature’s pain and loneliness. It is a sad tale, but Mary Shelley poured enough seasoning into each personality, leaving the reader is conflicted.
So, with that said, it’s YOUR monster. Get out there and create it!
Take care, my friends 🙂
Have you ever daydreamed during an important event?
In school, I was the kid who got in trouble for it all the time. It’s more embarrassing when you’re an adult in a business meeting, and someone asks a question. I’ll admit that I have difficulty staying focused.
I believe a writer’s mind never ceases to imagine. We are always busying ourselves with a current project, or embellishing thoughts for a future masterpiece. Daydreaming is essential for an author’s mind, and helps creativity. But, just like all good things, excess can be bad. We need to stay focused on the real world. Keep your head in the clouds, and feet secured on the ground.
Daydreamers are artists. Artists make things happen.
Take care, my friends. 🙂
The Twilight Zone “Time Enough at Last” might have applied to last Wednesday’s message, but I found it applicable for this message too. Burgess Meredith plays Henry Bemis, a man who never had the time to do what he enjoyed until becoming the last man on earth.
I worked 32-48 hours a week, homeschooled two kids, maintained house, and wrote three novels. It wasn’t easy especially with fluctuating schedules, and the occasional sick child.
Throughout my hectic day, I somehow found time to write. I plugged along day-after-day, week-by-week for months until each novel came to life. Writing became my refuge amongst the chaos. I could mentally escape to other countries, create realistic characters, but [luckily] never ran out of ideas.
We all have busy lives. The point I’m trying to make is seek the time. It doesn’t matter if you can only dedicate a few minutes a day—in between classes, on a lunch break, or before going to bed. Jot down some words, and eventually you will finish that novel.
I wish you the best of luck.
Take care, my friends. 🙂