Re-Blog: Working with your Characters

Posted in Novel Notes, Writing Life by Esmae Mairin — http://wp.me/1Hk4J

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Happy New Year

Aloha and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)!  We all know this is the time of year when we make our resolutions to improve ourselves over the next year. I am no exception to this custom.  We all want a fresh start. What better time than the beginning of a new year? It brings about feelings of excitement, hope, and resolve.

With the promise of the new year comes some major changes for me.  I am focused on writing more (gee, aren’t we all), but this year I am doing something about it.  I am already setting up the necessary research for my next article and I am making a major change in my daily life — more on that later.

Writing took a whole new turn for me in 2013.  I had an article published in Kauai Traveler magazine, I started a new project in poetry, and  I learned a lot about my characters and the direction my story wanted to take. The latter  created some consternation, though, as I realized I needed to create an outline for the meat of the book — I have the beginning and the end, but not the middle! Well, I suppose I should have created the outline in the beginning!  Who knew that the outline would also help me with the synopsis? Hahaha. Every writer! Well, I can certainly say that I ‘m learning as I go! Frustrating and exhilarating at the same time.

All in all, while my novel has not moved forward in word count over the latter part of the year, it has in structure and plot planning.  And, with the publication of an article under my belt, I think 2013 was a successful writing year. This year I am making my writing life more important, riding on the new by-line to the next project and changing some things that need to be addressed in order to free me up for more writing.

I have also discovered that the more I write, the more ideas flow. It’s a known fact that when you exercise your body, it’s functions improve. Apparently the same goes for the brain and the creative process.  You know that little fear monster that tells us once we finish this project, we won’t have any more ideas for new projects? I once feared that, if I ever finished this novel, I would never have an idea for a new one. Well, I don’t think that’s true, anymore.  I have index cards with ideas and short descriptions written on them to prove it!

Time to get ready for the day job.  I have been on vacation for the past week and I am reluctant t go back — some of that reluctance comes from not knowing what to expect when I return.  Who did or didn’t do what that I will have to deal with this morning.  But that’s normal.  The first week or so after you return from vacation, you spend all your time catching up on all the work you missed.

As for the major change I referred to earlier in my post — more on that in a future post. Soon, friends, soon.

-AH

Tuesday Morning Tea

As I sit enjoying my tea this morning I am pondering my intentions to write and how they always seem to get interrupted by other necessary chores and such.  I am reminded that a writer’s life is not always about the actual act of writing. It includes all sorts of activities. Really, even when writing fantasy, not everything comes strictly from your imagination. Being a writer includes noticing and filing away bits of experiences from everything around you as you go about the mundane day-to-day tasks.

I’m thinking about this because, while I intended to spend some time writing this past week-end, I spent more time doing other things. But those other things feed the writing in ways that I didn’t notice before. For example, I was at the Home Depot yesterday returning a screen door and buying a different one. I noticed as I headed to the Returns desk with my large parcel, that a man walking up from the other side, saw me and quickened his pace to get in front of me. Aside from the fact that I am a middle-aged woman dragging along a huge screen door, the first thing I thought was that chivalry was, in fact, gone. There was a time in my lifetime that a gentleman would have offered to help me rather than rush to get in front of me. Ah, there’s character fodder for my files.

Later, while attempting to install the new screen door, my husband became ever more frustrated with each step. Nothing ever works out the way the directions say when installing the seemingly innocuous screen door! But my husband reacts with a monologue of the ridiculous, making me laugh while he stands straight-faced looking at the door as if he were about to crush it with a sledge-hammer. More character fodder, please.

As I head into this work week, I am also reminded that the jobs I have done are more fiction fodder. Characters need jobs, right? Maybe all those job descriptions I wrote over the years could be used for a greater good: my novel! We are so entrenched in our surroundings that they become familiar and insignificant. But taking a few moments to notice that person over there, or the birds gathered in the tree over here, could help you set up a scene or write a poem.

These experiences are just a couple of examples of the fuel that can be used for your fictional file. It seems I used to know this, but had “forgotten” it for a while. I think paying more attention to my surroundings while I am not writing may better inform my writing, Remembering the old adage, “write what you know,” takes on more meaning when you pay attention to the familiar and learn to use it in your writing world.

Finishing my tea and off to get ready for work. Have a great week!

-AH

ReBlog: Friday Focus

Heading into another week-end and another opportunity to spend some time writing. I have been flying pretty high lately because I had an article published in a magazine — both hard copy and online.  It appears in the fall issue of Kauai Traveler Magazine (http://www.travelerdigital.com/kauai/fall2013_main?pg=49&search_term=Andrea#pg49).

This has been a real inspiration for me to continue writing and to add some more focus on writing freelance — articles and stories.  There is nothing more exhilarating than seeing your work and your name in print. I have also decided to let my first love — poetry — back out of the box.  My new project is a book of poems.  I had two poems published in the long ago past, and never really stopped writing it.  I just stopped submitting.  Well, that will change.

My focus for this week-end is to accomplish some work on the novel — oh and it’s our 13th anniversary, so we are spending time together doing what we enjoy!

Hope you have a focus for the week-end as well!  Aloha Friday!

-AH

From https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com

Friday Focus

Heading into another week-end and another opportunity to spend some time writing. I have been flying pretty high lately because I had an article published in a magazine — both hard copy and online.  It appears in the fall issue of Kauai Traveler Magazine (http://www.travelerdigital.com/kauai/fall2013_main?pg=49&search_term=Andrea#pg49).

This has been a real inspiration for me to continue writing and to add some more focus on writing freelance — articles and stories.  There is nothing more exhilarating than seeing your work and your name in print. I have also decided to let my first love — poetry — back out of the box.  My new project is a book of poems.  I had two poems published in the long ago past, and never really stopped writing it.  I just stopped submitting.  Well, that will change.

My focus for this week-end is to accomplish some work on the novel — oh and it’s our 13th anniversary, so we are spending time together doing what we enjoy!

Hope you have a focus for the week-end as well!  Aloha Friday!

-AH