Tag Archives: Fiction

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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What Do You See?

English: Drawing of a falling/floating man

English: Drawing of a falling/floating man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She placed the picture in front of me, flat on the table between us. “What do you see?” she said. It sounded comparable to a challenge.

I touched a fingertip to the picture, pulling it a notch closer. “Someone falling.”

She placed another picture over the first. “What do you see?”

“They’re falling to the left this time. It’s the same person.”

“How do you know?”

I looked at her.

She gestured to the picture. “It’s a nondescript drawing. How do you know it’s the same person?”

“The features are proportional to one another and the hat is exactly the same. It’s a logical deduction.”

She nodded, and then placed another picture on the stack. “What do you see?”

“They’re falling backwards now. Looks like someone hit them.”

“And what about this one?”

“They fell. Again. Of course. I get it. They fall a lot.” I started to stand. “Can we—”

“How do you know it’s not the same time?”

My back smacked against the chair, but I was too exasperated to wince. Much. “They could not’ve landed that way from any of the previous falls. It’s obvious. Wh–” I leaned forward, palm flattening on the cold wood. “What do you see?”

“I see someone who keeps getting back up.” She paused, looking at me. “As you said, they had to be from separate falls. How can you fall again if you didn’t get back up?”

“The last one…they’re on the ground. How do you know they got back up?”

“Why wouldn’t they?”

“Well, every time they fall must be a stronger reason to stay there.”

“No, no.” She emphasized with a slow but purposed shake of her head. “Every fall would be another reason to get back up. They can’t let it win now. They wouldn’t concede defeat when they’ve already come this far. That would be a slight to their previous attempts. No. ” She shook her head again. “They would not give up.”

I sat back, lips pursed.

She took a moment before speaking again, this time with a tone reminiscent of trying to cross a river barefoot on wet stones. “I…don’t think you should give up either.”

I sighed, rubbing my fingers over an eyebrow. “I knew you would try something like this.”

She smiled.

 

How many times one falls is not a sign of weakness — it is a testament to how many times one has risen.

What do you see?

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Conception Addition

Gun Barrel Proof House, Banbury Street, Digbet...

Gun Barrel Proof House, Banbury Street, Digbeth (Photo credit: ell brown)

A new story was conceived on the 7th of September. I have the premise, setting, two characters, and the title. Sometimes it happens this way. Other times, all I have is a generic premise to grow from (and, usually, the character that embodies the premise). 😉

True to my current Work, I noted the date for my Conception List and jotted down the info I had gathered, and I am going to leave it that way until I can focus on it. The idea intrigues me, so my mind keeps wandering to it. I love a puzzle. Unraveling the pieces, apparent and subtle, of a story is the best to be had, and my mind itches to solve it.

But I am training my mind’s eye on my current puzzle, and the occasional short puzzle, until it is completed. (Though I do not turn from Creative’s genius when it decides to share with me. I write it down, store it away, for its time of development.)

There are many gathered and waiting in my Conception List. And their time will come. I must stay true to my current work. I must see it through to completion. Fidelity.

Ciao

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Wrestling The Story

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I find I can be a stubborn person. I get an idea in my head, and I just do not want to let it go. (When it’s an idea I like.) :/

But no matter how many times I wrestle it, my story always wins, which ends up being a win for both of us. You’d think I would have learned this by now. But, no, not me. Wouldn’t want it to be simple. God forbid… I fight the change, even the most simple of changes.

A couple days ago I was at it again. I already had a scene partially written where two characters meet, and I was quite attached to it. In the back of my mind, there was a little nudge that said something was wrong with it, but I did not give the thought a chance to even reach the stage. I liked that scene, and it was going to stay. That was that.

So I’m writing my novel, getting ever closer to that scene’s insertion point, and it is consistently popping into my mind. And with it comes that ever-ignored nudge. Truly, I have gotten so adept at ignoring said nudges that I hardly know they exist until looking in retrospect.

The scenes leading to the meeting are unfolding in unexpected ways (as usual), and tossed in front of me is a hole that needs filling and an obvious answer: the other character, the one that was not to appear until that scene I had specially prepared. I pushed it away. No. They met in that scene, and that was that.

It continued to press me as I wrote further, getting closer and closer, and I continued to say No. I liked that scene. I would not delete it. Never. It belonged in the book. I knew it did. But it would not give me any peace. Any time my mind would wonder, I would incessantly find myself in the same ring and the same wrestling match.

I continued to write. It was getting stronger though. After yet another insistent shove, I smacked my pen to the notebook. Fine. I’ll listen. That doesn’t mean I’m going to change anything. But I’ll follow the breadcrumbs. Hypothetically, of course.

So I did. And as I traversed the misty trail, rounding curves to unexpected sights, I rounded one into a light. Revelation. What it had been trying to show me the entire time: I could have them both. I had been right. That scene did belong in the book…but so did this one. They did not step on each other’s toes. They meshed perfectly. (‘Least I think so.) 🙂 They belonged together.

You idiot. That nudge you were ignoring. Yeah, that one. It was telling you they had already met. It was obvious: the way they reacted to one another, what they were saying, what they weren’t saying. They had met before. (Cue: slap forehead, or just slap yourself in general.) I swear I do this a lot. (The ignoring, not the slapping…) I have the epitome of ‘thick skulls’. But, in the end, the story beats through to great success.

(Maybe I’m being a mite too open in this one… But, hey, I never said I was smart.) 😉

Writer exits, stage left, returns to idiosyncrasies and creation.

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Return to the Land of Fiction

Wide open spaces of Colorado. (I miss you)

Wide-open spaces of Colorado. (I miss you)

So it’s been a crazy week. I have been doing a bit of writing, but, unfortunately, for work and not on my novel. It’s been diffuclt, having to sit on my creativity when I could have made great progress. C’est la vie.

But today I got the chance to read through some of my notes, indulge myself in my world, visit with my characters, feel the wide-open spaces whilst in the city.

On my drive to work, which is approximately thirty-five minutes, my mind is always working on some story or another. And my current novel always gets at least a few moments, though usually it is the main event like today. I jotted a few notes at redlights. Measured in sentences, most red lights are extremely short. Even the long ones. 🙂

Today, amazingly, I stumbled into a lull at work and was able to elaborate on my previous one-phrase notes. I enjoy the busyness, but today was the perfect time for a lull. My creativity was revved up, and I had freed myself of many tasks, finally completed, which allowed me to keep my creativity door open, instead of quashing it.

It is so difficult, and painful, to smother that fire (I know, multiple metaphors, sorry). It holds so much potential. It’s tantalizing with possibilities. But it will come again. Gotta do what I gotta do. (Which includes work.) I believe it will help in the end. Experiences – pleasant, unpleasant, and indifferent – are research for the land of fiction.

Ciao

(Written yesterday)

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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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