Tag Archives: Characters

The connection: My grandfather and son

2013-07-21 18.27.27

Memories. Sometimes they pop up with no fanfare. They come to the front of your mind when it is triggered. My Pepere Gervais, french for grandfather, passed away many years ago. I have great memories of him. His ability to beat anyone in checkers. I mean anyone. It became a game of will as grandchild after grandchild tried to win to no avail. Another memory is of my pepere, mom and I crossing over the border into Canada to watch live professional wrestling. We were all fans and to this day my mom and I carry on watching.

But this past weekend a new memory popped up thanks to my son. His favorite deodorant at the moment is Old Spice, he has worn it for a while now. My grandfather wore Old Spice. As a child I would love to go visit him and go into his room and smell the scent for I loved the smell and I loved my grandfather. It was always great to spend time with him.

So yesterday as I was getting ready to leave the house my son walked by and this memory of me visiting my grandfather popped up. It made me smile. My son gave me some money to pick him up another stick if I stopped by anywheres on the way home. Telling my husband in the truck, he said I have some new deodorant in the closet he can help himself.

And while I told my son afterwards about this, I still got him a new stick. For I love the scent and thanks to him he reminded me of my grandfather. I hope he wears Old Spice for very long time. Even though they never met, they are now connected.

Falling in love with your MS again

2012-08-21 09.50.10

Have you ever picked up a MS that has been laying dormant and fall in love with it all over again? I use to think when I did that perhaps I was being conceited. That was until I wrote this on my author page on FB and learned that was not the case.  In fact one person wrote, “If you don’t love your work who will?”

And that solidified it. Working on Vol 2 of my Jasper, Amazon Parrot series I realized it would be a good idea to reread the first one so I could bridge the two together. Sitting down on the couch I got my Pepsi and started to read. It had been a while since I had done this and I fell in love all over again. I laughed at the same spots, I smirked at the reactions of some of the characters and just truly enjoyed the read.  There has been an occasion where a friend had read this MS out loud to me so I could catch anything that would need to be fixed. Instead I ended up laughing and then out of the blue it hit me. I wrote this, me.

I truly love this book. I have lived and breathed this MS for a few years now. I think as authors we need to fall in love all over again with our works. Not just a few times but down the road pick it up and enjoy the words you wrote. Enjoy the adventure that falls off the page.  If you don’t, like that comment suggested, who else will? We have to enjoy what we do and trust me it will show on the pages whether the words are works of love or just a task that was done.

Case in point is another MS that I will be submitting soon, “Squirrel Mafia”which is a true story of the war between the squirrels in my back yard versus me. It makes me giggle and I hope it will make others laugh out loud for that was the point of the book. This is my first attempt at true humor. But most important it was a labor of time, effort and love over a topic that was just so much fun to write about.

I truly hope my fellow writers and bloggers that when you put words down that you are having a good time, enjoying what you are doing and absolutely having fun. It makes all the difference in the world. And if you can do that the words will shine through to others.

Test Time

Plot is more than dramatic action. It involves having character emotional development, dramatic action and thematic significance. This is also known as how your protagonist acts or reacts. By doing these three things he or she is changed and something is learned. When stories get stuck it is likely that one of these three key elements has been ignored. One might concentrate on the action only, forgetting that character provides interest and is the primary reason people read books.

Organizing solely around the character can make one overlook the fact that dramatic action provides the thrill that each story needs. One might forget to develop the overall meaning of the story or the thematic significance. When the dramatic action changes the character at depth over time, the story becomes significant.

The Power of Character

In a story line, the characters grow and change in reaction to the dramatic action. This growth does not rely solely on a physical level. The challenges the characters face must create emotional effects, the deeper the better for reader. An effective way to do so is the use of a Scene Tracker. A scene tracker will ask you to fulfill seven essential elements in every single scene, with the biggest being focused on the character emotional development.

For example:

The Crisis: The crisis is an event in a scene that works like any crisis we may come across in our real life. Its job is to shake things up in such a way that the protagonist has to act. It takes on dramatic proportions when it is seen as the highest point in the dramatic action plot up to date in the story.

It has been fortunate for me so far that I have not gotten stuck yet. But knowing that there is a guideline of things that need to be included is a good thing to know. Plus it is a good tool to put my stories to the test and see if they have the three key elements that is needed. I can use it as a checklist of sorts to see if my works are well working. I need all the help I can get.