CONNECTION

Two friends“Hey, Ethel, did you see the title of her new blog? Bet she got this from our friendship.”

“Edna, we gave her a great picture of connection. Let’s see what she has to say.”

Look at the blank page before you begin writing. Do you know what your mind has for your fingers to create? This is like a blank canvas and your mind can develop anything you want. But, have you thought out your picture? What about your story? Pictures and stories seem to coincide. Your picture can stir up thoughts of a story and your story can create pictures in your mind. Yep, they go hand-in-hand. Sometimes as writers, we have looked at pictures as prompts and encouraged to write twenty-five words about the picture. As an artist, we read a story and see everything in pictures or paintings. Some are lucky and can do both–me, let’s just say do not put a paint brush in my hand. I cannot do good on walls, let alone a small piece of paper.

What if you have started your story and had to stop. Do you go back and take the time to read what you have written. No, not just a sentence or two, but maybe a chapter. You need to keep the characteristics of your characters the same and plod forward. You do not want that meek character to turn into an arrogant creature in the next sentence. This is where you connect from reading a few pages back.

Once you are into your story and spend time with your characters, it is easier to pick up where you stopped. You now their behaviors, their dispositions, and their voices. Voice is important for all of your characters. Even without naming the speaker, the reader knows the voice. The character uses their specific words to express themselves and the way they articulate their words. The reader ‘knows’ this person you have created.

If you are writing a singe title book, the characters are there just for this book. But, what happens if this is a series? You will need to carry your characters over to the next book with some their same traits. Of course, they may change as you give them opportunities to grow. Guess what? Now you have more choices to make and more time with your characters.

This is where the pictures in your mind help you connect. Be free with your pictures and your characters will show you their other side(s). Most of all, have fun with your writing and let your characters lead you down different paths.

Happy Pictures. Happy Characters. Happy Writing.

WHERE WILL YOUR CHARACTERS LIVE?

An IdeaNow that you have played with your characters and know their secrets, successes, and failures, where will they live? This is an important part of the story, as their traits may change depending on the territory you decide as their home.

Is there a certain state you have visited and would enjoy living there? Have you been to other countries for a vacation that you found interesting? Interesting enough to live there? Maybe you love the mountains, the coast line of the Western states, the small inlets on the East side of the USA, or tropical parts of Florida and Key West. You have so many choices including the place where you reside at the present.

Try several areas and see which one your character(s) prefer. Oh, yeah, they will show you by the way your writing gets easier and more interesting.

No matter what choice you make, be sure to do your homework on the state, the cities, the people living there, interesting places and everything you can find. A writer friend of mine, tries to visit every place he writes about. He talks with the residents, visits their favorite meeting places, and loves to eat at the places they recommend. Of course, we do not always have the opportunity to do this, but as you read this blog, you are looking at the next best avenue…the internet.

Check out all you can on the ‘net,’ and then get busy with using video and do not forget the library. Pictures are another advantage. Yes, this is work, but you want to get everything factual before you give it a twist to fiction.

If you decide to build your own town in a specific area–research. Check under the state you want and search for your town. They will list all the cities, small towns, and villages. See if the name you have chosen is listed, and then double check again with a different spelling. NOTHING…now you are ready to make this your story town. You can create streets, buildings, parks, businesses, make it a small place or a quick paced business oriented city. This is your town and you can make this place fit your character(s) and they will love it.

Let the personality of your individuals become part of this new place they now live. Give them free reign and your story make take off in a direction you never imagined.

Let your characters roam. Have fun. Happy Writing.,

LIVE LIKE YOUR CHARACTER

BlogHave some fun this week and walk in the shoes of your character. This is the person you write about in your novel, but writing and being are two different ways to learn more about your protagonist or antagonist. You can double your fun by being both. Read again chapters you’ve written where your characters have the spotlight. This applies to both female and male counterparts. Is your character outgoing, talkative, abrupt, devious, just to name a few attributes. Are you writing about a person you want to be, but cannot do this as yourself? This is your chance to experience and gain confidence in your writing and your character. Get out of your regular space and take on the life of your novel character. You will need to dress and change your style to match. How can you feel like or know your character without being that person? Hey guys, do you dress in a suit, tie, and wear polished shoes? Maybe even a sports coat, but the creases are always in place. Change. Go for the grunge and enjoy a different side of yourself. Walk in a section of town you’ve never visited or are uncomfortable being there. Get outside your internal box and get inside the boxes of the people you meet. Ladies, do you walk into a restaurant, no not the take-out kind, and panic to be there by yourself. Not today. You are your novel person and you know what she would do. Can you do it? Take a deep breath and become the outgoing person she is. Feel the way it takes a hold of you as you ask to be seated in the middle of a full restaurant all by yourself. Your character is taking over. Now, with the first step accomplished, how do you feel? Stop and recognize your feelings of being lost, out of place, an outsider or maybe the rejected on. Do these show up in your characters. Do not stop. You are on a trip to identify with the people in your book, and this could mean more research. In other words, you are enjoying this role-playing part. Do this more often and have fun. You may find you are more like them than you ever imagined.



Sit down at your computer and reread everything about your character that shows up. You may need to change their lives a little more than you thought. You are now in-tune with them and writing gets easier. You may feel more comfortable with yourself and not afraid to try new, outrageous adventures. Let your character lead you down some different paths, but most of all HAVE FUN. You have created a new experience for you. Grab it. Enjoy your writing and I wish all a Happy and Safe Fourth of July.  Check out my blog and see some interesting information about Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race. Happy Characters.

Happy You. Happy Writing.