Considering Characters

When I’m writing prose, I always seem to end up with the same thought in my head: how do people come up with their characters? Personally, I find that sometimes they just seem to appear fully formed in my head and that as I write I discover more and more about them. There’s a saying that the story writes itself, the writer just helps it along, and I think that’s very true. I think it would be more correct to say characters write themselves, and just let the writer know what’s happening once in the while.

I know, I know, it sounds a little odd, but it’s something that has been on my mind while I’ve been working on a piece for a charity anthology and my own personal work. I keep re-writing the opening of my own personal work, actually, because I never seem to be all that happy with it. Most of which comes down to the characters.

I worry that they won’t come across as well to others as they’re coming across to me. Am I describing them too much or not enough? Is this quirk of personality okay, or does it seem a bit too much considering everything else about the character? There’s so many questions and thoughts regarding them going on in my mind that it’s little wonder I actually find the time to write anything about them.

But, considering it all, I don’t think I would have it any other way. I like knowing that my characters cause me to think so much. It’s their way of letting me know that I need to work on them more, that I’m making sure they’re coming across as people and not just cardboard cut-outs. I can only hope that others will like them, but I do, and I think right now, that that’s enough.

Because if you can’t like your characters, who can?

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Facing the Block

This is something that is happening far more often than I would like, as of late. I’m going through another bout of writer’s block. Many people will ell you the best way to get through the block is to force yourself to write through it; I’m going to have to be contrary here. On those occasions I force myself to write through the block, I often end up hating everything I’ve written, and delete it the next time I look at it. In the end, no progress is made, and I just end up angry at my work, which isn’t fair to it.

It’s not that I stop writing completely. I write, it just happens that it’s never more than a sentence or two at a time during a period of writer’s block. What I do find myself doing is reading a lot more, and watching things for inspiration. Anything to try to light that spark again and get my back to my writing. At this current writing? It hasn’t happened yet, though I’ve been idly playing with the idea of a modernisation of Robin Hood. As in, Robin Hood set in contemporary times, not trying to take the original setting and make it more ‘cool’, for wanting of a better phrase. I mean, the BBC did that and while it was harmless fun… well, the last season wasn’t so much on the side of fun.

And that’s another contributing factor to my writer’s block, I would think. Ideas spinning round my head and refusing to settle into something that I can actually use and work with. That being said though… I think just worked out the next little bit of the current in-progress story. There’s another thing that helps: discussing the block.

Now, just to get over it.

An Introduction

Introductions can be among the hardest things in the world to write. The idea of them is to sum up whatever it is your describing and to – in most cases – give it the most positive outlook you can in as few words as possible. Trying to turn this on yourself can be something entirely different and difficult to produce in what you hope is an accurate manner. The best to place to start, I think, would be with a simple ‘hello’.

This is my author blog. Though technically speaking, I prefer the term writer to author. I write every day, I do not authorise things. But such is the nature of words, which is what the writing thing i all about. The right combination of words to make the right story that we – the writer – wants to tell you – the reader. Looking over at my bookshelves from where I’m sitting, I can see that there is predictable taste sitting there, and I wonder sometimes if that’s to my determent. But then I move on because that type of thinking does not get the words written.

With this blog, my main hope is to somehow track my writing progress, and hopefully finish a novel or at least a novella. I aim to hopefully have an update at least once a week, and I may even try to post excerpts from works on here. Granted, these excerpts will probably be deleted scenes from the finished product. Sometimes they may not be, however, but we will see.

We will see. That sums up my attitude, I think, I don’t know what the future holds, but I can guess that I’ll probably still be writing, even if only for my own enjoyment. But if I can make one other person out there interested in the stories I have to tell, I think I’ll be doing pretty well.

Z.