Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Writing Craft

Still working on characterization. Reading Ms. Wiggs last week pushed me further in that direction. My natural inclination is to develop plot heavy stories. When I revised a first draft, what used to always be missing was emotion and setting. Now I think about setting and generally include enough to cue the reader. Emotions -- I'm still working on.

In Writing the Breakout Novel ,Donald Maass say that emotion and conflict should be on every page. It dawns on me that this means the emotional conflict is the key to every story. Not just romance.

Currently I'm working on a novella. The outer plot is way too complicated for the length. But I've decided that is okay that convoluted, action packed, thrill ride is going to all part of the hero's backstory. Only minute slivers of this is going to make it into the current story which is a tiny slice of his life -- three days, plus a postscript a day later.

One of the aspects of relating character's emotions I struggle with is having them make logical sense. Story people are different from real life people in several important aspects. They are simpler. They have a few distinguishing traits, a flaw or two, and a couple of goals. Actual people are enormously complex. Story people make sense. They have logical reasons for their actions. They also have emotional consistency - their emotional reactions are authentic for their history and their circumstances. Real life people are unpredictable and just plain crazy.

Maybe I'm crazier than average and this is why I have so much trouble getting my characters to act believably.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lori Borrill said...

No, I don't think you're crazy. It sound to me like you've got a better handle on this than most.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Sorry Lori, I have to disagree anyone who writes is at least one bubble off normal. LOL

Sometimes the most obvious things elude me. . .

4:38 PM  

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