Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tuesday Thoughts

For those of you who are writers, when you create a character, do you decide what they are like or do you find them revealing themselves to you slowly as you get to know them better? In the past, I've tried to manipulate my characters - written out style sheets (fave music, fave food, etc.) and yet I find that never really works. The best way for me to really understand a character is to throw him or her in a scene and see what he/she does. I'm often quite delighted with the results.

Anyway - one of my secondary characters in "A Time to Roar" just revealed her HUGE secret to me yesterday. I was shocked! I had no idea that's why she had been acting as she did. But now that I know, it all makes perfect sense and explains a lot. I'm really glad she "told" me, because it actually adds a great little subplot to the book. Poor thing - it's a difficult secret for her to live with, but my heroine will do her best to help her get through it, I'm sure. (Even though it will be a bit awkward.)

In other news, today is the day I decided to make my seasonal switch from flip flops to boots. I can't believe I was able to last in flips this long - it's freaking October! Crazy. Anyone who says global warming is a myth...

Actually I love the fall in New England. You get to wear the best clothes. :) And since all my clothes burned this summer in the fire, I've got all new fall clothes to wear!! And even better - all new fall boots!!! Yay! (See, I am managing to look at the bright side of things.)

Let's see, what else? Oh - did any of you read these books as a kid? They're called HeartQuest and they were Choose Your Own Adventure fantasy books for girls. You got to be a tough kick butt fighter or mage or elf - just like a Dungeons and Dragons character - except there was always a sexy love interest (or two) that came along on the adventure. It was the perfect combo for me - a tomboy who deep down wanted to still be a girl. :)

Wow - everyone's talking about Serenity, huh?! And how absolutely brilliant it is? I can't wait to see it. But I'm trying to watch all of the Firefly episodes first. I did go see "Thumbsucker" this weekend, which I thought was great. But then I like deep, thoughtful, depressing movies. There's something beautiful about them.

Okay I'll let you get on with your day! :)



Anonymous said...

I'm more like you where characters are concerned and I hear you on the flip flops. I just switched from them this week ;)

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

It's still somewhat warm here in NY, so I'm still doing the sandal thing.

In terms of characters, I make collages of what they look like, and I have a general idea of what they're like, including their astrological sign. I choose 5 positive, and 5 negative character traits from the sign, and apply. But they still surprise me along the way.

Bethany said...

I wish I could say I do character sketches. But I am with you--I tried. And tried again. And then threw my hands in the air and just wrote about them in the context of the story. By about page 50 I know all the stuff that is every-day.

Then again, they do have a way of surprising you don't they? But that is what we call the beauty of writing. :-)

Kristen Painter said...

Yes, yes, yes! On both counts!

1. My characters are always revealing things about themselves. I have to keep writing just to see what they'll do or say next. If I knew ahead of time, I'd be bored outa my gourd.

2. I loved those choose your own adventure books. I even tried writing some of my own. Then I discovered the next best thing. Boys.

3. Since I live in FL, I'm still wearing flip-flops but I feel your pain.

Stacey said...

I can't sketch out characters ahead of time either. I mean, I can do it, but it's never accurate. I think it's like trying to know everything about someone you've just met. Until you're in situations with them where you get to know them, it's just guessing and assumptions.

I haven't seen all the Firefly episodes (I've seen five or six, I think), but I saw Serenity anyway last weekend and LOVED it. My husband who is not really into sci fi and has never seen any episode of Firefly saw it with me and really enjoyed it. So, don't let that hold you up! It's a great movie.

Jana J. Hanson said...

I'm still wearing flip-flops!! And I wish I could get some of my characters to 'talk' to me. A few of them won't shut up but with others, it's like pulling teeth!

TJBrown said...

I haven't seen thumbsuckers yet, but I have to. It was filmed where I live and the love interest of the protags boyfriend... the intellectual stoner type, was played by my son's best friend's big brother. Now if that isn't the corniest sentence I've ever written, I don't know what.
But I do want to see it:)

crissachappell said...

Characters should reveal themselves to you...and sometimes they do things that surprise you!

Jessica Madden said...


You SO rock! I had the Heartquest books as a child and have been reminiscing about them for YEARS as an adult, but I couldn't remember what the heck the things were called! I remembered the Larry Elmore art, and the different colored covers, and for some reason I had 'jewels' stuck in my mind as the titles (Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby).

You so rock. You totally made my week. :)

Amy said...

Like you, I used to try to manipulate my characters and figure them out before I started writing. Heh. They didn't go for it!

merlinsmuse said...

I'm with Bethany. I tried to do character sketches, outlines, etc., but if I try to figure out my characters before I start writing, I end up staring at a blank screen forever. I have to start writing and I find that the characters grow with the story. Until they're placed in a situation, I have no idea how they'll react. Until I let them interact with other characters, I have no idea if they'll even get along.

I just switched my summer clothes for winter ones yesterday. And, (yuck) I have to start wearing socks now. That's the worst for me.

I didn't read the Heartquest books as a kid, my obsession was the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. I used to wake up an hour before I needed, so I could read before going to school. To this day I still have the dream of owning my own horse. Preferably a wild, black stallion. :-)

Have a great day,

Amie Stuart said...

I was heart quest deprived but I'm still wearing flip flops and it's freakin 90 degrees here (for at least a few more days).