June 21, 2010 – Don’t Bother Me Kid, I’m Busy!

Hey, I’m actually working on my second book today and really don’t have time to work on my collection of half-finished biography posts.  When I have a scene in my head, I have to go with it, and damn the torpedoes.  I can’t be bothered to stop and write something else (said as I stop to write this). 

I actually started to write a scene yesterday that I was going to use as a blog post, but I haven’t finished it yet either.  I got so far and then it stopped.  I will have to let it set a day or two, then take a running jump at it again.  It is a scene that is not meant to be in any book; it happens in the space between the end of the first book and the start of the second one.

Something that writers need to think about, when it comes to developing their characters, is that if you want your characters to seem real, you have to imagine them living real lives—which means they have to live perfectly boring days as well as action-packed days.  Fictional characters, like real people, have to do the laundry sometime.  If you get stuck with a character, and don’t know what they would do or what they would say in a certain situation, write a scene that’s not meant for your book.  Just write your character going grocery shopping, or doing the dishes, or imagine what sort of TV marathon they’d like to watch.  If you work out who your character is on a day-to-day basis, you will have a lot better idea of what they will do or say when in a stressful situation. 

Anyways, the scene I started to write for a blog exclusive was like that.  Well, maybe it wasn’t too ordinary a day, but life was so crazy for Kalyn, Anselm, et al there for a while that it couldn’t go back to being normal with a snap of the fingers.  This is sort of a transitional day.  Not perfectly ordinary, but certainly not an adrenaline-rush, white-knuckled, fear-for-your-life sort of day either.

P.S.  I just recently noticed something: I am having a terrible time writing contractions.  I think I’ve spent too much time writing academic-type papers (and resume cover letters), which frown on contractions.   When I read through my proof copy I had to change a lot of dialog to contractions, but I’ve noticed I’m eschewing contractions in blog posts, e-mails and other things too.  Which is kind of ironic, considering that, as a native Southern speaker, I speak in contractions that technically don’t exist.  Such as “What’re you doing?”, “That’ll be the day” and, the ultimate, “Fixin’to.”


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