July 31, 2008

Reflections on a Busy Life

Filed under: characterization,description — writebrainit @ 12:56 pm

I don’t pretend that my life is anymore busy than anyone else’s. But my life has seemed a little overwhelming and out of control. I can’t say that it has been ‘go, go, go.’ But my mind has been. I was going to try and post last week before I left town as I had a few things that were affecting my thinking and my writing.

I love the direction of my thinking lately though, if I have a conflict with a friend or thoughts about a friend – I wonder, how do I incorporate this into my writing? Do I incorporate it? Am I breaking a boundary? How do I make a friend who is not looking good in my vision, still be endearing to a reader? Will they even know? How do I disguise them enough to take some of their traits I find annoying, endearing, or sad and not offend them?

I have been thinking a lot about character development lately and trying to work some on it. It’s been kind of fun but at times I wonder if it is pulling me away from my writing. Right now, I am not as worried about that – description is one of the areas I get challenged on in my writing group. And characterization falls under that whole realm of description. I have a tendency to allow my details to be a little more discrete and I think I do this because as I am reading the book/story – I picture myself there or I picture it as a movie and if there is too much detail, I can actually have a hard time picture the scene. But leaving things out like ‘for a 12 year old he was a little bigger and stronger than his classmates.’ Not that this is the best sentence, but it helps to identify the boy as opposed to simply referring to him as ‘the boy.’ I have to find the balance so that there is enough description to get the basics, but in certain areas I really want to be able to picture something I know.

For instance, I remember one of the first writers meetings I went to (with the group I belong to) a woman read a portion of her story and discussed the church. One of critiques was for a better description of the church – wanting to know what he was walking to in his mind. She commented that earlier in the story that it was a Nazarene Church and they all have a similar style. Now I walked away with three different perspectives there – mine which is that I had pictured the churches I know and was in a church while she read; the person critiquing who wanting the description to get the picture; and the writer who believed that by identifying the faith – all would know what the church style was. This was one of those thoughts that haunted my thoughts and still does – for me, knowing the style of the church added nothing to the story – in fact, for me it took away because now I had to picture something unfamiliar to me and in the bit picture – it had nothing to do with the story.

I have more to say on this topic, as it is tending to be a focus of mine lately, but I think that is enough for now.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: