Nothing like a trip out of state & sickness to screw up life’s rhythms and routines. Ha! There is no getting back to normal. It’s all a lie! Anyways, here’s hoping for a semblance of normal.
Strengthen your weakness.
Isn’t that a great thought no matter the topic, whether we are talking about writing books or living life?
Last Monday, we touched on whether our stories tend to be more plot-focused or character-focused. Me? I’m plot all the way. I love the action, the adventure, and my stories don’t lack in obstacles, but getting it all tied up neatly at the end is a different story. In my first book I had put every conceivable obstacle in the path of my characters and had to cut out a bunch as I edited it. I might consider that a strength especially if you compare it to my characters who were more like pawns in a game of Chess. You mean, they are supposed to have goals and motivations apart from the story? Oh… In The Art of War for Writers, we are challenged to spend extra time developing the weaker parts of our writing.
For character-driven writers: explore all the possible worst case scenarios. Be outrageous, Bell says, we can always scale back later.
For plot-driven people: go deeper with your character’s emotional experience/reaction to the events around them.
Back in May, we discussed putting our passion into our writing. I believe it is important to be vulnerable in order for our passion to become transparent, but it is also important in creating dynamic characters. At least, this is where my journey is taking me. Peeling away the layers, pushing through the veils and tearing down those walls…so that I can breathe life into my characters.
Do you think writing-help books can helps us with this process? I picked up two books years ago. Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D. and 45 Master Character: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. The first was like a psychology text book, and the other was a fun read, but I’m not sure what to think about them.
Or do you think just reading really good fiction will help us figure out how to strengthen our plots, characters, etc?
So what say you? Where is your writing strong, weak? What are you doing to strengthen where you are weak? This could apply to any area of writing not just plot and characters. Any resources you’ve found helpful?