In the first part we talked about scheduling and making sure you had the time to make a go of writing. Setting aside the time and making it routine is the very foundation of being a writer, and eventually a paid author. But its only one piece of a puzzle. If you sit down in front of a keyboard you are coming at it with the goal of writing. Most of us who think if writing have tons of ideas, and when we look at a blank piece of paper we want to flesh out this idea. And the first time its simple to create a world from this idea that exists in our minds. But attacking it day after day some of us might find that the going gets tougher. Maybe there are pieces you haven’t really thought about. Maybe there is fragility to it that you hadn’t considered. Maybe looking at the daunting task of finishing your novel becomes so much to bare. No matter what happens the end result is you stop writing.
The truth is, as though there are many people who swear off outlining or planning out the attack on a new project, I find it’s the one thing that can keep me coming back into the alcove of time that I’ve sectioned off for my writing. Spending time figuring out how my idea comes together means I understand my idea. If I get stuck, or I have written myself into a wall there’s always a way out. Because I’ve put my story concept to the test and I know it works now. So how do we test our idea? How do we formulate a way to figure things out that works for us in our own unique way of writing. As always I do my best to paint broadstrokes. But I’m subjected to my own experiences and what works for me. Not everything is set up for everyone, but I hope I can help a little bit. Let’s continue shall we?
I happen to be a writer, and on occasion I like to post Fiction stories for my readers to check out. Sometimes these stories are just random ideas. Other times they are stories I wrote and the contract fell through so they are just gathering dust. Its up to you to figure out which is which.
This particular Short story is called Truth and Consequences .It involves two of my more abrasive dungeons and dragons characters going on an adventure together. The world and setting of this story comes from Josh Weekley. If you you enjoy the setting of Braeton and the tapestry of the pseudo historical world, he’s written a novel set in the same world called ‘Crown of the Dwarf King’. Check it out on Lulu.com.
This is the sixth part of the story. If you are just tuning in, you can find the earlier posts here.
As some of you might have seen I was not sure what to write about in this week’s writer’s tips blog, so I took to social networking to help me decide. The choices were an entry about inspirations, or about character writing outside of your comfort zone. And there were a few more people interested in hearing about inspiration. Actually a few writers were curious about the concept of the turbulence that Inspiration can cause. And that sounds like a lot of fun to write about, so that’s where we are. And for those who chimed in for interest on Writing outside your comfort level, I’ll be focusing in on that really soon. And those comments also changed my initial idea. I really like the conversations and I might try for feedback more often. Plus H.H. Neville gave me another topic that might be getting some focus not soon after. Speaking of inspiration!
I think we all know what inspiration is. It comes from many fonts and eddies in our minds. They can sometimes be accidental and often were not even sure where they come from, and our minds spin out of control like a train wreck we can’t look away from. Of course then there are other times when our inspiration speaks to us in a much more lucid way. When we see a concept in a film, tv show, video game, novel or what not that spawn this appetite to make it our own, be it for critique, deconstruction or just because it seems fun. Not matter how inspiration hits, or why we drink it up like fine wine the truth remains that there is always a dividing line between too much or too little. But how do we manage ourselves to fall in line to create something unique or all our own, when most of the things that pop into our head are birthed by the concepts of other things.
One of the more famous paraphrases in cartooning is one that Matt Groening of the Simpson’s fame made. It’s about how you can gauge the strength of your character design by being able to distinguish your characters even from a silhouette. That is to say even with no details just the shape of the character should make its identity known. I’ve
always liked that concept. And though I can’t say that all my character designs have stood up to the silhouette test that bit of advice is always in the back of my mind.
Of course as writers we don’t have a silhouette test. We’re not a visual medium, so unless you’re a weirdo like me who draws all the characters in a novel for fun, there is not a ‘character design’ as there is in visual media. Granted this could be greatly debated. As many an author spends more time thinking about how a character looks and moves than his or her political leanings. But, even still we don’t have the same kind of silhouette sort of deal that Groening referred to on the writing page. Though I do feel we have a similar track to gauge when we go about developing characters.