Saturday, January 29, 2011

Choosing Which Character Lives

How do writers choose their characters?  Do they sit down in front of their computers and decide which traits to mesh together to bring their latest creation to life?  Or is it more Organic than that? 

I’ve read about writers whose characters are practically beating down the door demanding to be heard.  That’s a bit strange I thought - characters talking to you and controlling how the story goes.  Pulease!  I’m the writer, I’m the creator and I’m in charge!  

These other writers that say their characters talk to them are not playing with a full deck.  I’m not like that.  I’m in control of all my faculties - or so I thought.  My arrogance knew no bounds.  Well, the realization finally hit me.  In my fervent quest to free myself of writer’s block, I’ve gone off the deep end.  I find that I’m fielding off a couple of characters who want to tell a story. 

This complicates things because now I have to incorporate an added level of perplexity to my madness.  My problem is that some characters are clearer than others.  Their ‘voices’ if we can call it that, are stronger than others.  This is new to me and I’m trying to figure out how to sort all this out and not have these new characters divert me from the stories I’m currently working on, without losing them in the process. 

I’m more of a pantser than a plotter so I’m a little worried because if I don’t write things down right away the story dies.  Also, I’m faced with the dilemma of choosing which characters get to ‘live’ and which don’t. 

The best I’ve been able to do is create a spreadsheet to keep track of them but if I don’t write about them, their essence is lost – the story gone.  I feel bad like I didn’t do enough and let them die.  

Perhaps I should continue my journey knowing that not all characters make it in the end and concentrate on the one who have a chance to live.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poor Little Goth Girl

Poor little Goth girl so pale and forlorn
Listless and frail, her happiness gone
Wrapped in a funeral shroud battered and torn
The wind blows her ebony tresses, glossy and long
A halo of darkness encircles her pallid beauty
Her solemn countenance dreadful and gloomy
The earth at her feet newly disturbed
Evidence of a fresh grave recently escaped
Restless spirit condemned endless wandering
Her lover’s deadly gift her young life ended
His heart beats near, its rhythm frantic with fear
Attempts to flee an act of futility
Resigned to fate he falls to his knees
Pale hands take hold to seal with a kiss
Uniting in sepulchral nuptials for eternity

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stephen King – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

A friend of mine gave me this book for Christmas.  I had made a mental note to get it for myself after the holidays and was very ecstatic to have gotten it as a gift.  So of course, I began to read it immediately. 
The book is part memoir and part writing book.  In the first part of the book, the memoir, Stephen King talks about his childhood, his relationship with his brother and his hardworking single mom. He describes his very first attempts at writing when he was very young and how supportive his mother had been. 
When he received his first rejection letter he pounded a nail on his bedroom wall and impaled the letter there.  He continued writing and submitting his stories and by the time he was fourteen the nail would no longer support the weight of the rejection letters impaled on it.
He continues to tell his story in that conversational manner of his - like when he was six; he suffered from excruciatingly painful ear infections which caused him to miss a lot of school.  And how during his school years he continued to write as well as loyally follow in his brother’s exploits.  Followed by his college years; how he met his wife Tabitha, the struggles they endured during their first years of marriage and raising kids while he worked on his writing.  And before I knew it, I had finished reading the memoir part of the book.
I eagerly moved on the next section – writing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Internet Blues

The Internet was down for a few days - didn’t know what was wrong with it since my laptop indicated that I was connected.  I tried resetting the modem, the router, repairing the connection through Windows and restarting the laptop.  Nothing worked.  It wasn’t a billing issue so I didn’t know what the problem was.  

Finally, I called for technical support.  They tried to signal the modem remotely but it didn’t go through so they scheduled a technician to come to my home for service.  This is what I dreaded, because when that happens you become a prisoner in your home.  They give you a window of time for the technician to visit; therefore you can’t leave your house.  Any plans you made for that day will now have to be cancelled and to complicate matters; they call at the last minute to say there are no available technicians at this time, please accept their apologies and provide you with another date for service. Not happy – but I had no choice.

Eventually, the technician arrived and it turned out that the problem originated from the pole down the street where the cabling connects to my house.  He explained that the laptop indicated that I was connected because it recognized the connection to the modem, but the modem wasn’t getting the signal from the outside.  

In this era of uber technology immersion, I try not to be too dependent on electronic gadgetry.  Keeping it simple still works and most importantly it reduces your exposure to all kinds of radiation and magnetic fields.  Except for my cell phone, I don’t own an Ipad, a Kindle or Nook, a GPS, Wii consoles or watch TV {I have a HULU Plus subscription, yay!} but I do need my Internet!

Now that the Internet is up and running, the 'end-of-the-world' drama has ended and everything is back to normal.

And I learned that the Internet has become a part of my daily life and I can't do without it.  Can you?