Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wrting Craft

Still obsessing about character and something I've heard/read more than once. Plot exists only to reveal character. This is a concept that I struggle with. Perhaps because story is more important to me than even character.

Yes, I want three dimensional complex and fully functional characters. But I want them because they have been chosen and crafted to tell the story. This is a bit of chicken and egg problem. And I ask myself does it matter? The answer I've tentatively arrived at is no. Not in the overall scheme of things, but for the individual writer I think it matters significantly. To understand ones processes, to have a clear notion of strengths and weakness is to be a better writer.

Characters make stories memorable. As a reader it is because of character that I read. Brilliant characterization will keep me reading, but ideally I like the story people to have something to say. Beyond plot, beyond personal growth, I want to learn something about life from a good book.

That means the author (one hopes intentionally) crafted her story to illustrate something she wanted to say.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lori Borrill said...

I'm with you. Characters are what keeps me reading, and conversely often what makes me put the book down. And ironically, I find that the hardest thing to keep hold of. Times when I've really tried to write a vivid character, I've been knocked for being over the top. The books I write that sell, the characters feel vanilla to me. I'd like to find that balance where I can write a good sellable character that keeps me inspired as a reader/writer, without going overboard. Proof we never stop learning in this business. I'm feeling like I'm just now starting to learn the basics!

6:40 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Lori, You are writing category. Just thought I'd mention - there are many talented women who write for Harlequin - but even the best of category doesn't offer real depth of characterization - or maybe this is where I'm going wrong - Ms. Chin did say she wanted more depth from me. :)

9:21 AM  

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