Friday, May 28, 2010

Let Your Characters Do The Work!

This morning I finally sat down with the goal of completing two chapters.  An hour later I was successful! I have always read about writers falling in love with their characters.  It's something that I often do when reading someone else's book.  They enter my daily thoughts, and I usually can't wait to find out what they will do next.  It's not really that different with writing my own book.  After getting past which POV to use, and the structure of the story, I can settle into bringing the characters to life.  They have lived inside of me for so long that displaying them to the world is quite exhilarating.  

Today my two main characters are getting to know each other.  They are in the midst of innocent flirting and endless possibilities.  They are recognizing how comforting it is to be in each other's company.  I am writing this book in first person, so at times I find it difficult to interpret what the male character Bobby is feeling through Mae's eyes.  I have to really try hard to tap into her senses to decipher what his body language means, and the tone of his voice.   The last chapter I wrote, Mae had butterflies in her stomach... I recognized as I wrote it that I had the same feeling.  I have already fallen in love with the characters that I am writing about.  When she is excited --so am I.  When she is sad -- I feel the same way.  

I am proud to say that my characters have taken me over. I am no longer writing from my mind, but from theirs.  They reveal to me on a regular basis how the story will play out, and reveal their secrets to me as we go. I am their puppet now.  I feel it's important to find the time within your story to let go and let your characters do the work.  You have set them free! Be confident in who they are and what they are capable of.  If you are stuck on a chapter, or a sentence.  Ask those very characters that you brought to life what they think would happen next. You will be surprised at how easy it is, once you trust them! 

Currently Reading

My review will be up next week! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I Write!

I feel the only appropriate introduction to this blog would be to tell all of you why I write. Stories such as "The Secret Garden" and "Alice in Wonderland" allowed me to hope that worlds such as that exist. Magical places that I could escape to, keys that would unlock a beauty that could only be described by Frances Hodgson Burnett, or rabbit holes that went on forever as imagined by Lewis Carroll. I believed in these places, and I wanted nothing more than to be part of them, the scary parts, and all. Soon my imagination turned to love stories, the kind that leaves you with tissues, and a longing for that type of love. Nicholas Sparks brought me to a world that depicted so much more than the movie remakes could ever portray. Elizabeth Berg said this, "I still think about characters and sometimes I--this sounds awful to say, but I draw inspiration from my own characters. You know, what would Lainey do? Do you think she'd be sitting here bitching about this? No! She Wouldn't" (Writer's Digest March/April 2010). She has allowed me to realize that it is okay to be in love with my own characters. In fact, those very characters are a piece of me.

I write because it allows me to escape into a world that I created in my mind a long time ago. I write because I dream of more than what we see in front of us, and because my imagination carries me throughout the day. If I did not write, I think I might explode! I write because I love it and someday someone will be reading one of my books, and they will love it too! I write because I am a passionate person who dreams. I write because it is who I am--and I will no longer deny myself that right!

The Write Life will be a place that I can be who I want to be. I will discuss intimate details about the very characters that have entered my life. I am sure I will complain and maybe even cuss about the struggles of not knowing what to put in that next paragraph! I will share my joys and disappointments of the struggles of becoming a published writer. Most of all, I will write!

                                                  The Last Time I Saw You: A NovelThe Notebook