Friday, February 1, 2013

Past, Present, and Future

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm gonna talk about time. I know, I know, we don't have enough of it in a day! On one hand, I wish the days were forty-eight hours! On the other, I kinna don't. You know?

There are so many novels in the world! Where do all the ideas come from? I can't answer for everyone but a lot of my characters and stories come from people I've known and things I've heard. Some of my stories grow from things I read online: News stories, blog posts, Facebook, etc... Just snippets of things here and there, really.

But here's the thing: Your past, present, and future all shape your stories. You may think they don't; but every good character is three-dimensional and every experience you have shapes the way your mind works.

Don't run from it; embrace it.

So what if your main character has attributes of three of your friends from school? That's the way great characters are made. Always consider time because your character didn't just pop into being when you began to write their story down. Okay, they did, but you get what I'm saying.

I've started thinking about this one lady I knew when I wrote the title for today's post. She was thirty-twoish and her husband was a year or two older than she was. We'll call her Remmy. I was blown away by what a kindhearted, sweet individual she was. I could see the love for her husband when she talked about him. They'd been married almost ten years and she was happy as a pig in mud. One day, she comes to work in tears and tells us all her husband suffered a massive heart-attack and died three days before - hence the reason she wasn't at work. He just dropped dead. All I could think was: If something that horrible could happen to her, what chance do I have to be spared? Remmy's attitude didn't change, she didn't grow bitter, and she still smiled every now and then. Those actions showed me who she was down inside. I have since endeavored to be more like her.

Remmy would make a great character because of that flaw and her story. She's a character from my past.

In my present, I've already used someone I know and their story as a basis for a book. Stormy, from The Bird, isn't a character from my past; she's in my present.

When I think about the future, the past and the present shapes it. I remember things that were done to me, by me, and for me. All of the things above are from my time on the planet. I have thirty plus years of characters and experiences and stories told to me to draw from.

There's no such thing as a totally original idea. We're all inspired by something.

Next week, my posts will be inspired by Typography. Join me to learn a little about letterforms!

What have you read or written that was inspired? How did it change you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

6 comments:

  1. GREAT post! I haven't really tackled fiction, but I try to show multiple qualities in the real people I talk about... please keep giving us all these wonderful tips!!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Sandi! You do a great job on your blog! :)

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  2. Good post and enjoy the challenge this month! I'll have to do the next one =)

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    1. I'm pretty sure I've been kicked out by now. I took a trip and got sick. Bleh!

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  3. As always, good advice! I've been reading a book about writing creative non-fiction, which I suspect would be the type of writing I would end up doing if I ever followed through on actually writing a book. (Yes, I've done some research on the idea you gave me last year but other things are taking my mental energy right now.) If I ever take the plunge, your blog will be one of my major resources for technical information, I promise.

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    1. I can't wait to get a peek at your NaNo novel, Alana! Thanks for keeping me in mind :)

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