Tag Archives: Discover

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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What’s In A Name…

Early fall color along hiking trail in the Ice...

Early fall color along hiking trail in the Ice Lake Basin. Fuller Peak and Golden Horn can be seen in the far background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The somewhat overused phrase…but with good reason.

Well, I finally did it. I found the name. Granted, it’s not on my current novel. But it is on one I will be discovering shortly thereafter. And it’s been plaguing me that I did not know the name. It poked and prodded and teased. Merciless. But I finally ‘bested the beast’.

The name is vital. Vital to the entirety of the book. It is involved in the title, involved in the essence of the protagonist, involved in the other characters’ perception of the protagonist. It felt so incomplete to only have part of the title. If I had not had any of it, it would have been better than some and not all.

This afternoon I found myself with the inclination to wander in its direction again. I started following the usual trails, trying to find the rabbit trail off the main path. I followed several through the dictionaries and origins and variations. Nothing. Some would come close in essence but not the correct sound or immediate reaction. But one came so close. I could feel the victory standing on the opposite cliff. All I had to do was find a way across that opening of nothingness between us. I followed the main path to a rabbit trail and then to a hunch that led to another hunch. I knew the correct name was buried just a little deeper, so I tweaked and twisted until ‘Voila!’ it was staring back at me.

Sigh. Happiness. It is finished. The title is complete, the essence is named. I can continue with my current work without the incessant interruptions of an incomplete task.

The ridiculous thing is: I have set my mind to the task periodically for more than a year now. But, no matter, it is complete at last. That story can rest peacefully (semi-peacefully, it still calls to me sometimes) until its turn comes.

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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