Tag Archives: Character

Surprised Again

Flowers

I thought I knew who she would see, but suddenly it was not. It was someone new. This added a whole new dynamic.

Sometimes writing is like unveiling a painting of many colors. Each addition is a new color unlocked. It stretches from its initial discovery, and I gaze in wonder at all the places it fills and the colors it blends with – completing the painting that much further.

And, speaking of color, I am so ready for spring.

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Innocence to Import

I surpassed my writing quota yesterday, which was great, as I undershot the day before that. Sitting down to write continuously – rather than jotting down notes or writing different scenes (of which I have pages filled) – never fails to remind me just how little those filled pages are compared the enormity and complexity of the story. I see all the white spots – all the Unknown. It’s exciting, but daunting, if one dwells. But then, that’s only if I look at all the work yet to be done as if I needed to do it in one day. Instead of seeing it for what it is: a wonder-filled journey of discovery. Every day filled with possibilities.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon something unexpected. Nothing monumental, but still a mystery and a thrill. You see, I knew this place existed – had known for a few days about this one place in particular. But I did not know the main character actually entered. Once she did, I was perplexed. Now, what would she be doing in here? What could she be after? Confused, though I was, I continued writing. And then, there she stood: a new character. Again, nothing huge. Just a moment in Main’s life. I admit, I was curious about this new woman. Writing the exchange, I could see purpose in it, but nothing Main would not store deep in a closet of memory, probably never to open again. And then it happened. One line and the atmosphere changed. It was no longer merely an innocent, every-day (or, every other day) exchange. Suddenly, it was personal.

One thing I was fairly certain of: Main would remember this woman. This was a moment to remember, and someone to wonder about, here and there, over the years.

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The Journey Continues

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I love this journey.

I have been back to writing steadily for more than a week. Back in the thick of the journey. It’s incredible. I love when the unexpected happens. Love it when my expectations are completely wrong. I love when my characters surprise me, especially when it’s two main characters that surprise me. This is the beauty of writing.

The characters know how to write their story far better than I. And I love it when they take over. I love that feeling: when my eyes are following the words my pen writes, listening and watching my characters, and my eyebrows flick up in surprise or I have to smile in admiration at one or more characters. I love it when they surprise me, and I have a feeling they love to surprise me. Like: “Bet you didn’t see this coming.” “Bet you didn’t know this.”

Their version is so much better. It fits better. It is the real story….What I want to uncover.

Happy to be discovering. 🙂

Ciao

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Honesty

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So I plunged back into my book yesterday. To actually writing and brainstorming on paper rather than just contemplating. Yesterday I was cementing the culture of the book more firmly in my mind. (Reading history books is excellent stimulation.) But today a new scene started playing in my mind. An emotional and telling scene for the protagonist.

Listening and transcribing what she was saying during an emotional outburst, and thinking about the truth in her admissions, I found myself, yet again, saying: what the heck am I thinking? I can’t write something like this. Well, I can, but how can I publish it? Is the world ready for something like this? Can they accept a character like this?

I know some can (like me), but the majority? Will they misunderstand her and abuse her with their false beliefs? Can they see and accept the darkness and the light at the same time? Will they believe her: that these two extremes exist in one person?

I know that other characters may share versions of different traits and struggles, but none are her. None have her combination. I don’t know any like her. So there’s no one to be the guinea pig. No one to test the market. And those characters that I think could identify with her and be friends with her…Well, I’m not sure how the rest of the world feels about them.

She’s closer than a daughter, and closer than a friend. Our relationship is different than either, and my feeling-levels vary from those presets. She’s in a category of her own. I am protective of her, and yet so very proud of her. But can readers possibly catch a glimpse of what I see?

I’m the only thing between her and the world, and the only one that can bring her to the world. I am the river and the bridge. I can’t cover parts of her because readers may ridicule her for it, or simply misunderstand her, which is so much worse. She wants to be honest with the world, and I must let her.

So today, I resisted the urge. I let her say everything she felt, and I wrote it unabridged, though I did cringe on occasion. Not because I dislike it, but because it goes against every protective instinct I have to let her be so transparent. But I did it. And I determined yet again (you see, I go through this battle quite often) that I must write the entire book this way. I can’t muffle her. The readers can either accept her or not. They can love her or not. But she will be real. It must be unabridged.

I hope, one day, you get to love her as I do. 🙂

Ciao

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Story Pregnancy

BabyShowerSoap

A week after the last addition (on the 7th of September), what happens? Well, I’m pregnant again. 🙂 (Any relatives reading this, please don’t freak out!)

Story pregnancy. Nothing more. 🙂

Saturday morning I woke up and decided to lounge in bed for a couple minutes. But it was not to be. A voice started speaking to me. An interesting character with an interesting threat. I found myself listening for some time. But eventually I had to face reality.

A family breakfast awaited at Bob Evans, a farewell to a beloved visitor (she’s going to read this later, so I had to say that…. 😉 Not really). 🙂 I took my notebook and jotted notes as I waited for the rest of the family.

I am most intrigued by this character and this premise. An unexpected gift. I have mini-maps for three short stories from it, and, hopefully, you will be seeing one in the near future – for sale on Kindle, Nook, et cetera. 🙂 All whilst I continue the writing of my novel.

Here’s hoping.

Ciao

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What a Character

Photograph of a Polish boy

Photograph of a Polish boy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s the cutest little boy at the preschool. He has a serious face, puckered lips, and curly brown hair in a man-cut. He is circa two years old and not quite two feet tall. But a fierce-some little bundle he is.

Every time, I see him either telling someone something extremely important or reprimanding them. Always in his gibberish, which sounds something like “oo joo juh joo too…” said through a tiny O between his puckered lips. The entire time he speaks, he is shaking and pointing his finger at them in a serious, no-nonsense manner, brows lowered.

Well, yesterday, on his way out, he stopped in the office as his mother talked with a friend. I had a perfect view. He stood just inside the door, talking fierce, and shaking his finger at his former teacher’s back as she clocked out. She was talking, but he continued to speak, even fiercer than before.

Finally, she turned around – still talking – and she had a cell phone to her ear. He paused and stared for a half second. Then he slapped his hand to his forehead, and just leaned there, covering one eye. The troubles he must bear. He just tries and tries, and this is what he gets.

The teacher had just concluded her call as he turned to leave, head down and shaking back and forth, and speaking gibberish to himself about his trials of life. She realized he had been speaking to her and called after him. “Goodbye, Sam. I’m sorry.” But he just sighed and lead his mother out the front door, still shaking his head. She gave a little laugh as she waved to his back.

What a character. I wish I had written him. It is so much fun to watch him giving instructions or lecturing. He is always talking. What will he be when he grows up? Lawyer? Professor? I predict something involving talking, at the least. 🙂 Children are so funny.

Ciao

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Discovering Characters

 

Ver en grande Explore ¡¡ 01/09/09 :D

Ver en grande Explore ¡¡ 01/09/09 😀 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the gems of writing fiction, of creating worlds and lives and their stories, is discovering the people in the book. This is what I have just experienced, again. I knew this character existed, but I didn’t know anything about them. Until eight hours ago.

It is an amazing experience each time. I am fascinated by each piece of the gathering puzzle.

The first time you hear their voice. Sometimes it’s a shock. Sometimes it’s the relief of sinking into your favorite pillow that a few moments before you had not even realized you were missing. And then you begin absorbing what they said: the words they chose, the way they pieced them together, and what it all reveals. Each word tells more than they know. More than you know. And then there’s the expression, the eyes. A multitude of details. Some of it unreadable at first, but intriguing.

But that’s just the first insight. As you spend time listening to them and reading their expressions, you realize some of your first impressions were incorrect. Maybe not entirely. Or maybe you just took the wrong turn. Yes, there was an intersection, but you should’ve turned left, or maybe not turned at all. Maybe it’s just a shield they hold up. 

You start to recognize their consistencies and understand their inconsistencies. You become more adept at reading then correctly, though some things are to be wondered about until they trust you enough to confide in you. (The more you listen, the closer you come.) You understand what they mean rather than what they say. You recognize their tics and mannerisms, and how they combine with different situations and expressions to mean different things: nervousness, anger, fear, excitement, embarrassment, et cetera.

Their story starts pounding into your mind. Your concept of their past is shifting into the clarity that comes with truth. You see them, as God, in all their stages of life at the same time. You see more than the environment they grew up in and the people they grew up with… You see it through their eyes, and your own. You see it through the eyes of the child, and through your own objective perspective. You see their interpretations of others. You feel, as well as see, their experiences. You feel the effect, the way it shapes them.

The pieces of the puzzle align. The missing pieces have floated out of the fog and taken their places. You see the big picture, but you can also focus in on the pieces that build it. You continue to work and rework the puzzle, understanding it more each time.

 Amidst all your learning you retain the memory of your first meeting. And you must not forget your first impressions, as this is how many of your other characters, and the unknowns, may interpret them at first. And what can it show about the development of the relationships already in their lives when you met them?

This is where it shifts. Now you are equipped to consider introductions between your characters. And, as a friend introducing two of your unacquainted friends, you consider their personalities, et cetera, and how they will react to one another, at first meeting and after more exposure. Will they clash? Will one misunderstand the other? Will they like one another immediately? Will they become friends over time? Will they eternally dislike one another? How will different introductory situations affect this?

And thus it continues.  

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