First of all. Hi.
Second of all. Bedroom furniture sets.
Third of all. I’ll explain later.
Right now I am having SERIOUS character issues. My WIP is hanging on for dear life and I know KNOW that it’s because my MC is not clear enough in my head.
I know her. Sort of. On the outside. I know what I need her to do. I know how she functions in terms of PLOT (because this book is plotty by nature and I’m finding out that dangit, I really do hate cha) but I don’t know how she functions in terms of emotion. Who is she?
How do you write a book when you don’t know the character?
Errrr, you don’t.
My problem is in the past, with my other books, my MC has appeared. One day. On the page. And it was their story. Totally and completely. I let them write what happened and it was magical.
Now with this book, writing doesn’t feel so magical. It feels hard. And impossible. And maybe forced? So then I think, this book is bad. Bad. I am not good at this. If it doesn’t happen organically, if the character isn’t telling me the story, then the story shouldn’t be told. Maybe I should trash this plotty novel that is making me want to throw up.
Then I see Carol’s post on characters. And the questions are awesome. And I should know the answers to all those questions and what if creating a character takes work, is that so bad? What if I have to rewrite 200 pages? Will it be worth it? Can you start with the plot and then go back and make the character fit? Can I work backwards?
What do you do? Do you do a character sketch? Do you write down the answers to these types of questions before you start writing? Do you do all that work? Or do you let it happen as you go?
I have more questions and frustrations but I’m going to stop here because I need to focus on more important things like figuring out how to get my hands on one of these or maybe one of these. I think they would solve all my personal and professional problems and maybe yours too.
And now for a little explanation and a contest. Kyra said last week that big things are coming on this bloggity blog. And she was not kidding. We’re starting the love today and things are just going to keep getting better (or maybe not but pretend like they are). First of all we are planning a real live dance (I think our focus should be the prom in a few months but since Carol is the boss I guess we can have a summer splash as a warm up (but no one is going to come)). Second of all there are going to be more writing marathons and writing prompts and writing goals to make you whip yourself and ourselves into shape. Third of all more author interviews (maybe even Videos? Whhhhat?) and fourth of all contests/giveaways. Crazy.
Today’s contest, which will run until Friday, involves the pretty little links I’ve put in this blog. CSN stores has kindly donated 60 dollars to the winner of our writing contest this week. That means you get to just go on a shopping spree (the 60$ kind of shopping spree) at any of their 200+ stores. There are kid bikes, knitted rugs, bombe chests (what’s a bombe chest?) shoes!, fitness equipment, book shelves (oh the book shelves) and on and on and on. The sky really is the limit, guys.
To enter you have to do two things:
1. Pick an item from one of the stores that your MC would want. Think hard about this. Who are they? What types of things would be important to them? What are they dying to get that their parents won’t buy them? Then, in their voice, and in under 250 words, describe why they have to have this item . . . why they must must must win the contest. Post your entry in the comment section.
2. Tell a friend and make them enter the contest also OR post it on your blog and/or website.
Yes, it does hurt your chances but it will also make you feel cooler when you win, right? And more people will have fun and flesh out their characters a bit more? Right? Right?
I really want that kid bookcase. Don’t you?
A representative from CSN stores will pick the winner. People other than me and Carol and Kyra will be reading your entry and laughing and crying and telling their friends about your writing. The contest starts now and ends Friday at noon. We’ll announce the winner next week. Make sure your friend tells us you referred them or tell us where you posted it.
I think that’s all. Is that all? Maybe not. But maybe.
Happy Tuesday! And see you tonight at Carol’s fancy book talk and signing at the Provo Library.