Thursday, July 22, 2010

We'll be right back after these messages...

Well, there are no messages actually. But I'm going away for a bit-- vacation-type away. WooHOOO!

Mostly this is a vacation from work, and the hot, slobbery dog of a summer we are enjoying here on the farm. But it's probably a good idea to take a break from the manuscript, too, and especially the recalcitrant query monster, which, in my mind has grown to look something like this:

(Okay, that's actually a scene from "Sigmund the Sea Monster" but how else to describe a 450 word query that is just too damn much?)

And the manuscript itself is feeling a bit monstrous lately as well. I am trying to get a new handle on one of the more minor (but crucial to the plot) characters. He started off sort of cartoonish (intentionally so, I'm afraid) and now I realize I have to understand him, even care for him if its going to work. And he's sort of a tough guy to like....

If you are a fiction writer, you probably have all sorts of little tricks to get to know your characters, sort of like ice-breakers for the party in your mind, right? If you are not a writer, this whole post probably seems one step away from schizophrenia.

Anyway, this is one of the exercises I do while I am driving or otherwise semi-engaged: I imagine I am talking to the character, and he/or she is telling me about a childhood incident, a guiding principle, an ex wife, etc. etc. Again, if you're a fiction writer this is all great fun. If not, call in the straitjackets!

So, what sort of exercises do you (writers) do to get to know your characters?

I hope to check in and read about some cool, helpful writing practices. But this is a new blog, so mostly, I hope to keep the flame going while away.

So if it's slow around here, no worries. I'm probably still here:


Ariel Swan said...

Have fun on your vacation Perri. Take a breather. I am in need of one too (a vacation from my vacation). I don't have any tricks to know characters - except reading, listening to, and watching things that make me get a feel for someone - give me a sense of style and attitude - either things they would like - or things that just get me in the mood for them. Ex - writing a redneck - I'm listening to country music or bluegrass - depending on the redneck.

reberto.alberto said...

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happy writing!

Team - Short Story Book