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Friday, 12 August 2011

Thought for the Day : How Do You Write?

A friend of mine emailed me recently and asked me 'how do you write?'

I thought my response was quite inspired for five thirty a.m and decided it needed to be blogged...
Every writer's different some have a set schedule like a shift at work. You have to find what works for you. Once I've a plot going around in my head that's it. I hate the idea of having to focus on 'real life' LOL! I get consumed by the world I'm creating. 
Stringing a few words together to form this world isn't as easy as it sounds. If you imagine everyone involved on a movie set, script writers, makeup artists, set designers, costume designer, actors, cameraman, composer, director, as a writer you are every single one of these people and you have to put into words each frame of the movie you have in your mind, They say a picture it worth a thousand words except you need to use as few of those thousand words as you possibly can while achieving the same effect.
Then once you're done you go through it with a fine tooth comb realise most of its crap! But you've got strong characters and there's enough sparks between them. The story line's got that something to keep a reader interested. So maybe...I never worry about the first few drafts. I free write, so let the creative process have control. If you can create any scene so detailed enough that you can taste, smell, feel, hear it in your mind and then put that into words so that other people can see what you see, smell what you smell... You get my drift... You can make anything happen and that's why I love it so much.

I'd love to know what everyone else's thought are on this?


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Sugar or Spice? Character Recipes

Fellow Writers Blog HopWhen my very first beta reader said she'd found herself screaming 'No don't do that!' at my female lead I was mighty impressed with my little old self. Not only had I created a believeable character but I'd put her in a situation where my reader was emotionally invested in the outcome... and we were only half way through.

So how did I come up with such an amazing character?... Hmm...

But didn't I just picked up a pen?

Imagining the character came naturally to me. How she looked? How she dressed? Where she worked? Where she lived? Her world built around the scenarios I put her in. So lots of little details, like she's a single mother with a network of close crazy friends who all have a story of their own to tell, came naturally too.

But it was the appearance of anonymous flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day that began to build her character. The way she softened into the memory of a lost love. The chance first meeting where she'd accused said love of being a stalker and then captivated by his eyes she lost all ability to string words together. The way she sighed and then fell backwards through the door at the end of their first date! I discovered she had a fondness for luxury ice cream that night. The way she told him never to darken her door again when he told her that he was married. So I guess I learned a lot from three meetings with one guy. A) She's got a defence mechanism in her quick tongue and it gets her in trouble. B) She's got a soft centre though she'd never let anyone know. And C) She's honourable, no matter how much it hurts her, she'd never do anything to hurt anyone else if she could avoid it.

So now I knew something about the person she was going to be I could put her into an unusual situation and see how she'd handle it. I got to the depths of her emotions, the good and the bad. She's quick witted but she also developed the temper of a volvano. With one scene I was able to get real insight to her personality and it became evident that outwardly she's a wall of steel but inside she's as fragile as glass. As the novel developed it also became obvious that she's motivated by her desire to do exactly what others say she cant and her need to give her daughter the happy carefree childhood she deserves.

This particular character and novel has never had a plan, they never really had a beginning middle or ending when I begun, they've written their own destiny. (My tip for writer's block: grab a pen and a pad of paper and let the words carry the character wherever. One of the most significant scenes was created from a freewrite session such as this. Boy did I have fun that day!) After I'd built her world I enjoyed destroying because the real challenge was figuring out how 'she' was going to put it back together.


Character Recipes is the topic for this month's Fellow Writer's Blog Hop

Other blog hop topics include:

Writing Flashbacks - Talking A Walk Down Memory Lane - July 2011

Inspiration - Where Does It All Come From - June 2011

Judging A Book By Its Cover - I'm Guilty Are You? - April 2011
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The Legal Bit

All characters have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone baring the same name. They are not inspired by an individual known or unknown by the author and all incidents are pure invention.

The articles, excerpts, and other written work published under the pseudonym Erin Cawood are copyright protected by the author. Guest articles are published by arrangement and also copyright protected by the guest author.

Images of Erin Cawood are provided by Paul Miguel Photography.

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