January 3, 2014

Writing tales

Light blogging ahead, since I'm working on the next book. At the moment, I'm learning about my characters.

I suppose there are writers who outline every damn thing before plunging in and writing, but that's not me. I simply come up with a general idea of where I'm headed, and then I let it happen. My fingers seem to know what to do.

Today, I want to say something about fictional characters. I find there's little benefit to defining the personalities of my characters at the outset. That doesn't work for me.

Instead, I simply write them into scenes and see what they do. They tell me who they are, rather than the reverse. When I see them in action, when I hear their words (and yes, their voices), I come to understand them. And only when I know them inside and out can I really put them to work.

This means I write many scenes that I don't "use". And by "use", I mean these scenes don't end up in the final draft of the book. But I do indeed "use" them. They're my teaching tools. They define the characters for me. And for this reason, they're anything but a waste of time.

So I'm going to write today, though what I write may never see publication. But it's useful all the same. It's a step on the road.

This has been your shout-out from "The Worlds" -- the coolest book you haven't read yet.


Artichoke Annie said...

I like this post. It is always interesting to hear of a writer's process. I have heard this before of a author's relationship to his characters...yes, we need to listen to those voices.

Thanks so much.

writenow said...

Your interest buoys me up. You're certainly welcome.