A Proposition for a fellow Writer

I would like to do some improv writing.

Improv writing – well what I learnt with some friends through school – is, with a writing partner, you begin writing a story. Alternating between each writer, you write a paragraph or two and the other person continues on.

I never quite had the opportunity to complete a piece or to give one a really good crack because it seemed that life got in the way – as it does.

Anyway, I’d love to know if someone else, or a few others, would be keen to try it out?

It’d be via email and perhaps, a paragraph every week or two (depending on the situation). I think it would be great fun, and a great way to challenge our writerly muscles.

Please leave your thoughts below if you’re interested, or if you have any tips for this kind of exercise.

Thank you for dropping in!

Rebecca P

A Musing on Character Creation

I’m working on my characters for my WIP at the moment. Something that has been going on for about 3 months now – since I decided to set aside the word count goals and deepen my story structure. I felt too detached and unsure of where the characters were headed, the characters just didn’t feel real.

On that note, I’ve successfully created intricate pasts for each of my main characters and a couple of my secondary characters, though one (my favourite) has been particularly elusive.

In an attempt to keep the characters unique, I try to keep their pasts as separate as possible (in that their pasts were significantly different) and I try to keep them from being too cliché.

That’s a difficult notion, especially when the character count begins to build, and your anxiety for your WIP affects how you see your ideas.

On that elusive character, I had a personality firmly set in concrete, one that I am unwilling to shift in the slightest simply because I adore the affect he can have on the story, yet I wanted his past to contrast entirely with his present personality.

Easier said than done.

And on top of that, I wanted him to be entirely secretive and defensive about his past but still seem positive about life on the whole.

Mind-boggling.

After some (procrastinating) twitter questions and a conversation with another writer ( @melindrea82 ), I have gained insight into and inspiration for my current road-block. Social media, and the internet in general, certainly make a writer’s life much easier – and more challenging – in this era (but that’s a story for another time).

Character creation is difficult. Especially when you want them to feel real, you want the reader to envision this person standing in their minds, as solid and human as you or I, you want the reader to feel the character’s emotions and to see the character’s motives as genuine and believable. You want them to think that if they were in the character’s shoes, they would do the same.

Yet the simple action of putting down every little detail onto paper, fuses the character with fiction, and makes them seem as nothing more than page-bound; a mere sequence of words amongst thousands of others.

How does one create a living, breathing being from a series of symbols on a page?

I guess the trick I’ve learnt, though it has been said many, many times by other (more experienced and professional) writers, is to think of those we have known and to take inspiration from public figures and personal friends, whether from your past or present. To study the effects certain past events have had on present character building.

And, not least of all, to study yourself, as honestly and openly as you can bring yourself to. To look at the root cause of your own actions, what deep-seated fears play havoc on your every thought, and what caused them in the first place.

I think a little bit of myself went into every character so far, and I don’t think it’s much different for most other writers.

After all, humans are faucets all kinds of emotions and personalities. We merely need the right triggers.

What Not to Say When You’re a Writer (and What to Say Instead)

Some wonderful encouragement for writers. Straight to the point and real.
Writing is hard work. It’ll take persistence. Many many many hours, and days and weeks and years. But with each word written you keep on getting better.

Keep writing!

Saga of Menyoral

These are things I hear a lot in the sideways world of Internet writing. No matter how long you’ve been doing this dance: rookie mistakes. This is what I’ve learned about the attitude serious writers bring to their work.

Don’t say: “Can I do (X) in my manuscript?”

I don’t know. Can you? Of course you can—you can try whatever you want. The first draft is the playground draft. POV, setting, character, plot, everything. Just tell the story. If it doesn’t work, go back and fix it on the rewrite. Besides, who knows? Maybe you’ll come up with something genius. But if you don’t stretch your muscles and try new things, even if they’re just new to you, you’ll never grow as an artist. “Can I make my character a daywalking vampire who loves frosting?” Sure you can. I think what you’re really asking is, “Will people be interested…

View original post 475 more words

The First Draft

I came across another Author’s blog today (in another session of my now many hours of total ‘research’ for my novel).

The Tyranny of the First Draft

And also beginning this Author’s particular blog post was a quote from Terry Pratchett, which hit home, hard.

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

It seems this is the universe speaking to me. I think it may be time to chain up and lock away my uncontrollable, editor personality.

This novel has its bare bones framework laid out, that is all I need to write it.

I need to stop procrastinating.

I need to enjoy this process; I need to let my writer be free to create. I need to let go of all of this fear.

I need to write this damned first draft and officially get started with this novel.

The first draft will be horrible – but that’s what it’s meant to be!

I need to write.

I will write.

Wish me luck!