Sunday, June 29, 2008

'FESS UP FRIDAY | On Characters

I missed last week's 'Fess Up, and I'm late on this week's entry. But I want to do something vaguely 'Fess Up because if I miss two weeks, then it's easy to miss three weeks, then four weeks, until I stop doing it altogether.

Firstly, no word-count this week because I was too busy with work and meeting up with people. I read only a little, but The Making of a Chef is exactly the book I needed for researching one of my main characters. So, it's slow progress in the right direction. :)

I end with this little quote on writing your characters:

Frederick Buchner wrote:

You avoid forcing your characters to march too steadily to the drumbeat of your artistic purpose. You leave some measure of real freedom for your characters to be themselves. And if minor characters show an inclination to become major characters, as they're apt to do, you at least give them a shot at it, because in the world of fiction it may take many pages before you find out who the major characters really are, just as in the real world it may take you many years to find out that the stranger you talked to once for half an hour in the railroad station may have done more to point you to where your true homeland lies than your priest or your best friend or even your psychiatrist.

~ Quoted in Bird by Bird

This rings so true, because right now, one of my supporting character is threatening to dominate the narrative. I thought I knew what I was doing, but I guess I'm not really in the driver's seat here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quote--I liked that when I first read it cos my 'side' characters are always doing that to me... like I over-think my main characters & so don't give them enough space.

Good for you 'Fessing up--have a feeling the reading & processing now may do more good than dumping words on paper (sorry my own self doubt rising here)

darkorpheus said...

Ovidia Not so sure about the "dumping" words on paper tactic. that always seems more productive than just "thinking" about the story.