Tag Archives: creativity

My Characters Are Weird

Are you in control of your story, or is it in control of you? Do you tell your characters what to do, or do they just narrate their own stories?

With me, it is a little bit of both. I generally tell the story but, sometimes, the characters don’t like what I am writing and scream at me to change it. I can drag them kicking and screaming into what I want them to do, or I can just follow their lead. My characters have been known to have minds of their own.

What? Those voices in my head aren’t real? You want to send the guys in white coats after me? You think I’m nuts? You mean everyone doesn’t hear those voices?

Go ahead and send those guys with the looney house over. I have some questions for them.  I think one of my characters might be schizophrenic. Or is that me? No. I’m not schizophrenic. It must be them.

The characters with mental problems are fun to write and hard at the same time. They don’t act the way most of society does but, at the same time, I have to make them believable. One of my side characters is looney tunes. I keep changing her, trying to make her fit into one category better. Right now, she is just a plain old wacko.

Even the main characters need to have quirks, or they won’t be believable. Readers are only willing to suspend their disbelief so far. Once that limit has been reached, you have lost that reader forever. Cardboard characters don’t give them much reason to do so.

Are your characters talking to you? Are you listening to them? Are you incorporating their ideas into your story? The rough draft is the perfect place to do that. You can take it out later, if it doesn’t work.

Don’t get so stubborn with your story that you don’t let it take a few twists and turns. Those may be just what the doctor ordered. If they aren’t, you may need another doctor.

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Filed under Camp NaNo, NaNo, Writing

What to Say?

Well, here it is, time to write this blog again, and I have no idea what to say. The words have escaped me.

How do you write when you don’t know what to say? Isn’t that what every writer faces from time to time? It makes you wonder where your creativity has gone. At least, it does me.

The good news is that it’s there, somewhere. It is hiding in some dark corner of some darkened room deep within your mind. You might have to follow a maze to get there. Like any good maze, you feel lost and disoriented. How do you find your way out?

You don’t find your way out, You find your way in. The room is in the center of the maze, just waiting for you. Unlike Harry Potter, there are no deadly obstacles in your way. Nothing is going to reach out and grab you. All you have to do is continue on until you reach the center of the maze.

What’s that you ask? What if you find that dark corner within the dark room, only to find out it holds another maze? Go with it. Sooner or later, you will find that inspiration at the end of the maze. All you have to do is refuse to give up.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s not that easy. There are distractions. False turns. Dead ends. The need to sleep. The need to eat. The need to go to the bathroom.

That’s okay. No one is saying not to take care of yourself. Do whatever is necessary to maintain your well-being. Just don’t give up on that story. It’s waiting for you.

So, how did I write this much when I didn’t know what to say? I went with it. I took it where it lead me. This time, it worked. Next time, it might not.

Anyway, it is time for me to log off here and get back to my novel. It isn’t going to edit itself.

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Filed under Camp NaNo, NaNo, Writing