A lot is said about research, outlines, keeping notes and organizing one's writing; does anyone have any comments on writing where the characters begin to live out life of their own which you as author are only recording? Perhaps there is more than one way to approach this, but only the organizers write organizing books, or perhaps this second thing is too much art and surprise to be codified, but I find nothing of value happens unless characters find their own feet this way.TheGardener
It has been watching my husband's style of writing change over time. This is a problem I have always had with characters, they are too alive for me, but this is a new problem my husband is having.There comes a time when, if you character can't do what you want them to do because it would be so 'out of character' you can't picture it, you have to find a way for the enviornment to force the character's hand. A good example of this is found in Eliot's Middlemarch, where the main character has gotten herself into a horrible marriage. Divorce is not an option. So the author acts as the hand of god and kills her icky husband (stroke or something like that, I can't recall now). Pow, problem solved and the character can go on to a more interesting life. :)I personally think it is a good sign when you characters talk to you and don't want to move your plot along. They are coming alive! Alive I tell you! ;)
Ah, but you're becoming the deus ex machina! You have to work hard to avoid easy cliches like this. (although I'm sure a characters appreciate it)But there are two more sides:What do you do when the character is in risk of undoing the plot or the consistency of genre without killing their vitality?And, What do you do when most of real existence is quite uneventful? As authors we are constrained to the important incidents, and this unfairly skews ones subject into comprehensible, active, familiar, or rapid subjects. Lots of what makes reality function are slack periods, slow realizations and non-intellectual impulses that get justifications only after they are active facts.What is a good way to make real the slow, common events, without becoming "Madame Bovary" (or the Auld Triangle if you're Irish)? More to my purpose, what's a good way to represent the reality of an unrealized spiritual motion, or of one's environment leaking into a character, without having to cover the 600 days of small events that, in real life, would comprise it?For a simple question, I've got some hum-dingers, don't I?TG
"What do you do when most of real existence is quite uneventful?"-------------------------------------------It is? My existence always seems overwhelmingly eventful. I'll give an example from 6 hours ago.At 7pm central standard time two of my friends (female roomates, just friends), held a mock lesbian wedding "ceremony" in one of the public lounges here at school. I use quotes on ceremony because they wore flannel pj's, and then pranced 3 rounds around a table with the "bride's maid" (John in a dress) singing "We're getting married nya nya nya nya nya."In the center of the table was a large Neon Turtle plush toy, which we have successfully had ordained as a minister in the Unitarian Church.The "wedding gift" was another of our friends, a large shy man, wrapped in red saran wrap (clothed).That was 7 to 7:30. Other wierdness happened later. No alcohol was involved. That's not the wierdest thing we've done by any means.I know I know. Why would we do this? Simple 5 part answer:1) It amuses us.b) We could say we're "performance artists" and people believe it (it's often too unnerving to them otherwise). NEA grant here we come.3) We're terribly bored. d) We can't afford alcohol.5) There is no five, as it has been sacrificed to Eris.So, eventful things can happen if you make them happen and don't mind embarrassing yourself.
So, eventful things can happen if you make them happen and don't mind embarrassing yourself. That ought to be the opening quote for a book on how to run for political office.To paraphrase Ms. Frizzle, get dirty, make mistakes, become a world leader. LB, the book idea might work, go with it.Frolix8
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