Friday, March 13, 2009

Serendipity Writing #105 – Developing Characters

I’ve never been at the “what do I write now” stage – I always have something begging to be written that slacker here just never gets around to writing. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that fact is more interesting than fiction to me many times.

I read a ton of biographies and autobiographies – even have the books on tape. People are fascinating to me, as are animals. I don’t get a buzz out of disastrous news – I get my charge out of weird news. Wondering “now what would I do in that situation” or “WTF? HOW are they gonna handle THAT?”

I also don’t have a problem assigning attributes to a character, fleshing him/her out. If anything, I have too much information, even on my secondary characters. Can’t tell you how often a crit partner has told me (even had an editor say the same thing) that the secondary character(s) took over my story. Of course, the logical remedy is to give them their own book later, but at the time, in the middle of the story I’m on at that time, it’s difficult to pare them back, because they’re so life-like to me.

Regarding news stories, I don’t go for the sensational, like the young mother who just gave birth to umpteen babies. She’s not interesting to me – I don’t CARE why she did it, because I’ve already decided in my head that regardless of her motives, all I can see is another generation on welfare cropping up, which I KNOW is prejudicial, but there it is, already ingrained in my pea brain. All I can see are thousands of babies in our own country who still don’t have families. I see an Einstein or a Pearlman or a cardiac specialist, I see an inventor, a songwriter, someone who cures diabetes…all waiting for someone to plop the right toy and later the right tool into their hands. I don’t see the possibilities for the babies that Super Womb just bore, because IMO, her story focuses more on her than it does her children. Orphans have their own stories, which tug at my heartstrings.

No, it’s the secretary who out of frustration invents White Out who interests me (it was former Monkees band member Mike, the sock hat dude, whose mother invented that one, by the way). It’s the guy who couldn’t breathe well who invents the nasal strip, the child who has autism and overcomes something, it’s the grandmother who has raised her kids and wants to learn how to waltz – these call out to me, for some reason. I loved Dave Thomas, the Wendy’s guy, because of his story. But then, hell, I also loved reading about Al Capone, so go figure.

Interesting people with interesting things to do. It’s that simple for me. Hope my writing reflects that philosophy, because that’s the one I embrace.

More later.
~ Sunny Lyn
<~~~ Lake Mead photo, taken by friend Michael last week while we were in Las Vegas
* * *
BY THE WAY...one of the hunks in the top photo is Michael and one isn't. I'll leave you to figure out which.

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2 Comments:

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Gretchen said...

Ok, how about this one...

I had a clipping of a news story that I held onto for years, that told about a bridal shower in California somewhere that went horribly wrong.

Apparently the ladies were brawling out in the front yard. So naturally someone called the law and several deputy sheriffs arrived to break up the fight.

Ok, well the complication that made it really interesting was that apparently most of the members of the party were lady wrestlers of Samoan heritage.

The punchline to the article was that the sheriff's department employees sustained only minor injuries.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

omg - HA - seriously? definitely a story idea. i'm stealing it if you don't use it. - tee-hee-hee

 

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