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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Digging Up Character

One fun thing about writing a novel is the ability to explore all kinds of personalities, lifestyles, and occupations. I've mentioned before that my current fictional WIP has been morphing and expanding. With that evolution, I found myself diving further into the history of the protagonist's parents. I mean, maybe other writers do it differently (probably do), but I find it difficult to flesh out my lead character without knowing her past and the ghosts that may be haunting her.

In addition, since I'm envisioning this story as the first in a series, I want to start as I mean to continue, and that, for me, means understanding the forces that drive the characters.

This first book is seated in the "father story" of the protagonist. I didn't intend it to be this way, it just happened as I moved deeper into the storyline. With that in mind, I'm not only reading some psychology books on fathers and daughters--Daughters of Saturn, Leaving My Father's House, The Wounded Woman--I'm also reading some books that focus upon the career I gave the lead's father, including this one called Accidental Archeologist.

The previous two novels I've written were not as complex as this one, and I am enjoying the challenge--a challenge that would have sunk me earlier on.

This coming week, my second semester at UA starts, but for now … on with story-building!

8 comments:

  1. Good for you! I always tell my writing classes that they should know far more about their characters and the characters' family than they ever show. This results in a three dimensional character rather than a cardboard cutout. I construct timelines and family trees so I really know my main characters.

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    1. I appreciate your confirmation, Vicki. In your books, the characters certainly feel real to me, so I like knowing that this depth research is part of how they came to be that way. It's clear already that some of the people in my book will want their own stories told down the road. ;-)

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  2. Well now I can't wait to read it!!! Write on!!

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    1. LOL I seem to write--especially novels--in fits and starts so it's slow going, but I will keep you posted periodically. :-)

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  3. How exciting to be in such a wonderfully creative place Darla.

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    1. It really is fabulous, Laura. :-)

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  4. One of the side benefits to being in school is that it allows you to appreciate so much more deeply, the joy of having time to read for pleasure! :-)

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    1. Last semester I became quite despondent over not having any time for pleasure-reading. This semester, I was very strict with my schedule and gave myself Fridays off (no classes). Thus, Fridays will be private, solitary day for continuing to work on the novel, plus enjoy a bit of pleasurable reading if needed. :-)

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