Friday, November 12, 2010
I've been enjoying the blog Wordplay, by author K.M. Weiland. It's full of helpful advice and inspiration. I've never read any of K.M. Weiland's novels, but she's a good writer - one who loves her craft.
There's an extra bonus on the site; right now, on the top of the left sidebar on Wordplay, there's a link to sign up for a newsletter. If you sign up, you get a free e-book, by Weiland, called "Crafting Unforgettable Characters." I've never been one to impulsively sign up for things, but character crafting is a weak point of mine, and I decided to give it a go. After all, who can resist a free book? And a free book on writing? I'm gone.
It was worth it. I read all 50-some pages in a single evening (not much of a feat), and was inspired to get to work on my current characters. I've now created a new word document for character development, and I've copied and pasted just about every "character interview" I found online. I have SO many questions to answer for each character! I'll know them all inside and out by the time I'm done coming up with answers.
Right now I have a conversation going with one of my favorite characters; Philip. I was working through the typical questions - "how old is this character?" "what is his favorite color?" "what is his goal in the book?" etc., and I came to the beginning of a new set of questions (copied from a different website). These were written as if talking to the character. The first one I noticed was "What do you want?"
Philip answered. I wrote it down.
Then I found myself asking, in writing, "That's fine, Philip, but what do you really want?"
He told me. We ended up having a very profitable conversation, in which I learned a lot about him, and about putting his voice and expressions on a page. He's a very troubled young man.
But those characters make the best stories, don't they? :)
Anyway - get a copy of that e-book. It's a good read! And many thought-provoking or humorous quotes are scattered through-out. You'll like it.