Friday, June 13, 2008

'FESS UP FRIDAY | Progress

I actually managed to bang out a few words this week. There is some forward motion on the story. I'm finally getting to the bit of the story where we meet Charlie's sister—the reason why Charlie and her father are no longer on speaking terms.

I didn't know quite how to handle the story behind Charlie's sister. The sister is a late addition to the story. At one point I thought she would be alive. Later I decided she would be dead but influencing the characters as a ghost (I have a gothic sensibility). I changed my mind once more – decided I wanted to try something more realistic. So now she's just dead. Her story will be told through Charlie's memory. This means flashbacks.

For a last minute addition, this character has quite a few changes.

Does anyone wonder how characters really come about? Do we write them, or have they actually been sitting in the dark recesses of our imagination for a long time – until the day we finally set words on the page, and they manifest themselves?

I haven't planned on creating Charlie's sister—but now her coming into the story adds a new theme of family.

I've been re-reading parts of Laurie R. King's With Child, to study how she weaved the intermittent flashbacks so seamlessly into her narrative. It is a joy anyway to re-read any Laurie R. King novels.

It's also amazing how you have been reading novels for so many years of your life, but it isn't until you sit down to try to write one—that you really start paying attention to how things are structured.

I wrote a fair amount of personal "essays" this week. But re-reading them, they feel more suited as journal entries. This is the real reason I write - not because I want to be published, but because putting things down in words sometimes help me sort out my thoughts.

Still reading Bird by Bird slowly.

Practiced yoga 3 times this week. I attended two Hotflow classes and practiced a bit of the Shadow Yoga poses in the morning, with some core-work.

I am so out of shape.

8 comments:

the duck thief said...

I think some characters come unbidden into our minds. You can't force them to do anything and instead have play along with what they want.

Diana Galbaldon, author of the "Outlander" series says that to her characters usually follow three different lines.

Some are like nuts, tough to crack and understand. Some are like onions with layers and layers to their personality, attitude, etc. Some are like mushrooms; they spring fully formed from the ground.

LK said...

I like what you said about the structure -- and not really paying attention until you have to write to really see it!

ovidiayu said...

agree with that too!

& see you're reading Bird by Bird. I found it in Borders at a stuck moment & thought 'it's meant to be' & grabbed it.

Like her tone & practicality & laughed at her giving me 'permission' to be stuck, jealous & take action step by step...

jpderosnay said...

wow, it sounds like you made some very good progress!

thats a really good question about characters... its curious where they come from. i've never actually thought about it too much - i think i sort of think they come out of nowhere. like out of our subconscious.

well, i guess that isn't nowhere then.

but yeah, i don't think about it too much. i'm just glad they come! :D

Charlotte said...

I've also been thinking about character this week. Some of my characters have been with me for years, others pop up in order to serve the narrative.

As for structure, I am in deep admiration for authors. As I struggle away, creating my foundation, I in awe of some the palaces I have read. I realise now how I underestimated what a job it is to write a novel.

Dark Orpheus said...

Duck Thief I really like the mushroom and nut analogies. :)

LK Which may indicate I have been an unobservant reader all these while! ;p

Ovidia Oh yes, I picked "Bird by Bird" a few week ago. I like how she makes writing sound so down to earth - yet also reverent and demanding.

JP I guyess small progress is progress! Ha!

I'm glad the ideas and the characters come too. It's amazing how much credit we give to our rational mind - but so much more is out of our control - in the unconscious instead?

Makes you wonder if you are writing them, or the book writing you?

Charlotte Like you, some of the characters have been with me for a while - in my daydreams. And some, they suddenly appear out of nowhere.

I guess the exercise of writing a novel will at least help us realise how difficult it is to bring a novel to completion. I have so much more respect for anyone who can finish a book.

jpderosnay said...

haha! i have definitely felt like i am sort of being written before. pinter says a similar thing... i can't remember what exactly, but something along those lines.

Dark Orpheus said...

JP This is like the episode of Battlestar Galactica I watched earlier this week: "All these have happened before. All these will happen again."