HELP! I LOST MY WORDS

Yes, it has been a while since my fingers crept across the keyboard. I still can’t run them over the keys because I lost my words. Instead of writing, I’ve been on a wild journey. Picture yourself trying to remember where you ‘stored’ something of great importance to you. Why is it we always try the refrigerator last? This time I went straight to the fridge and search every storage drawer, every shelf, and yes, I did not forget the freezer. Nothing but food and containers; no papers.

This led me to the closets and corners of each room. Nothing, but I did get things pulled out and taken to Goodwill, dust bunnies no longer laugh when I open a closet door. Instead they try to hide or race out to unknown places. The extra hiding areas I’ve developed are now empty and again, no papers or words. The only peace I find is reading others words. I became so desperate, I go to bed with a book, and wake up with the same book. Thank goodness, I’ve finished two. The words are familiar, but I still have problems putting them on my own paper.

The book I am writing came to a complete STOP. I”d read everything from beginning to the point of no words and begin again reading the same material. At least I have made some revisions and feel better about those, but it’s not the same as writing new ideas and moving the story forward to publication.

The harder I try to get words out of my head and onto the keys of my computer, the harder it is to remember what word I should use. So, to help me out, I began to take pictures with my camera. I am not a picture taker, but managed to get some decent shots of familiar people, objects, and places that might bring back the words I need on the tips of my fingers and not hidden in my head.

A friend told me to forget everything and not work so hard at nothing. “Go out for walks, hit the coffee shops, and listen to others. No, not snooping, just listen to the words.” And then, she suggested we take in a matinée of a silly movie. I got caught up in the show and never realized I was laughing until the end. Something clicked and I wanted to get home and write. Maybe. But the silence almost destroyed the progress in front of me.

Now, I can once again find words with my CD’s. Music gives me energy, energy makes my fingers move, and soon words appear on the page. That they all do not make sense, so what? The delete key works, the backspace key backs up, and the music keeps playing.

When we stop because of worry or the need to do things ‘more’ better, it freezes our ability to be free. So, I’ve made a promise to myself, when things get out of whack, go for a walk. I’d love to run, but those days are over. My knees told me this, and I follow these requests.

May your weekend be filled with friends, fun, flowers. I am now back on track so see you soon.

Happy Writing,

P E PATTERSON

 

Are Your Characters Contradictory?

How well do you know your characters? You’ve researched, made sketches, know their background, size, color of hair and eyes. What happens when conflicts arise? Are you certain how your characters will react?

Look at your story and see if your characters have permission for strange behavior. Our characters must surprise and even shock the reader. We want the reader to fall in love with the story, the scenes, and our hero or heroine (protagonist or antagonist). Your characters must show emotion, an unbelievable other side, and get ‘out of character.’

A minor character becomes forceful or hateful toward the main character. If this action is full blown, the female character takes revenge, not at all like her. Or the male character plans a way to get rid of the other person. Or what about a character who thinks she must be prim and proper at all times, and a guy who must be perceived as a gentleman at all cost. Boring. Boring. Boring.

Think about your actions during the day or a few days. Everything rolls around on an even keel until a stressful situation turns your world upside down. You do things ‘out side of your box’ to get back to normal. Take a good look at your characters. How would they react?

Enter conflict. This can be between two characters or one character arguing with his or her conscious. What great behavior antics you can create? Then, the female character hears a certain song or remembers a specific time from long ago. This is something none of her friends know; her other side. From a male character, he may have a past hidden in the sealed files of a court. Each of these characters have issues from the past and surprise the reader. Now, you have emotional involvement with the characters. Next, you need to show reasons for her or his behavior. Do not tell. Show with fear, secrets, choices, motivation, and be in dialogue with them. Let your characters be real to you, the writer, and to your reader.

Surprise your reader and your characters will keep them reading. AND, let me hear about some of your character happenings, ‘outside the box.’

Happy Writing.