Tag Archives: Writing

Inspire and Motivate Me… What would you like to read?

I always write what I have experienced or what I have researched.

I have a number of working titles that I am building stories around, but always enjoy hearing from other authors and readers… and ESPECIALLY MY FANS!

 

Developing Characters – A Response to @VStilesErotica

I was taking a break from writing this week after spending a lot of time on the update of my autobiography. I needed to decompress a bit and spent a little more time reading than writing. I came across Veronica Stiles, another writer and while reading a couple of blog posts, I saw one that caught my eye about character development – https://veronicastiles.com/developing-characters/.

As I read through her blog post, I formulated a few opinions… WHAT? OPINIONS?… Yes, I have them.  While I will agree character development is important in the telling of a longer story, I also think it is important in the short one’s as well… BUT… I don’t necessarily agree that a character should be introduced and a “bio” of sorts should be told at the time the character is introduced.  The feelings drawn from the reader should be based on what they perceive of the character.  Give them too little and they dismiss them, give them too much and the opinions of the characters can convince the reader to put the book down.

Veronica is right, there are exceptions and character development is not based on a set of rules.  In fact, I would argue that a writer develops his or her own rules when writing.  It really depends on the story they want to tell.  Sometimes, too much characterization can be detrimental to a story.  It can make the story predictable and sometimes boring. I tend to look at characterization in my stories as part of the entire story.  Dropping pieces of the characters along the way.  It adds an ire of mystery and suspense to the story and in erotic stories can take the story in a different direction sexually.

For me, character development and dialog is major part of my stories.  I spend a great deal of time thinking about the characters.  Not only the aspects of their personality, likes, dislikes and quirks, but I especially think about how characters would interact with each other… this helps make the stories a bit more believable.  When the shock factor is appropriate for any part of a story, that means that the initial introduction of the character is short and mysterious, but as the build up continues there are hints dropped – either by the characters actions or another character’s viewpoints.  This allows me the creativity to take the story in almost any direction.

The one thing that works best for me when I develop characters is my ability to visualize the character.  I will often search the web for pictures establishing a face to the characters I write about.  As I develop the characteristics, I will look at the photo and determine if the characteristic fits the person I am looking at.  I don’t however choose character names based on the visual representation.  This is done more from actually seeing the name on paper.

Again, everyone is different and my way of looking at names is different from Veronica’s.  Not better… just different.

I have also written novels that are made up of short stories – the progression of the story also lends itself to the progression of the character development, but the one thing I try not to do is focus on the character’s physical appearance from a build stand point.  Clothing, hair color, eye color… sure, these are always part of the story, but height and weight are not usually part of the story unless it is necessary.  It allows me to be part of the story as an observer and puts me at their “eye-level.”  By not expressing the physical dimensions, I can let the reader develop the character in their own mind and if the story is well written, they can insert themselves into the character based on the reader’s own physical characteristics.

I do agree with the character mapping and linkage.  It is important to show how the characters, meet, what their opinions are of the other characters and how they will progress throughout the story.  Especially in a story that teaches a lesson.

When it is all said and done, characters are an extension of the storyteller.  The characters are the story in most cases and their development is part of the story, but should never be the entire story or the story is not worth reading.

Thanks Veronica.

I can’t believe what I just read… Wait I wrote that?

I have been considering a re-release of my first book.  The autobiography that I wrote a few years ago was originally written with a purpose and profit was not on the agenda.  Since then I have written a lot – well over 40 pieces and after some gentle pushing from friends, I am close to a decision.  I spent the weekend reading through the first release and it obviously brought up some very difficult memories.  As I read through it, I thought about what to add and what to clarify.

There are some things in the book that were very difficult to write about and I chose not to be too detailed about certain experiences for a couple of reasons.  The first was obvious.  What happened to me was criminal and expressing the details may be too difficult to read and I didn’t want it to be misinterpreted as a sick smut rag.  The second was who this book was “really” written for.  It was an explanation to those close to me and the details were not as important as the overall message I was trying to convey.

Looking back at it a few years later, I realized that some of the details should be included.  The vividness I see everyday after 30 plus years should be a vivid reminder of how people can be manipulative and selfish and how that selfishness can drive certain people to commit unspeakable acts.  IT is also important to add a few more current details to the book as new events have had a profound impact on my life.

My last blog post received more feedback than I expected and while most of it was very supportive, I also noticed that curiosity was influencing the comments.  Most do not know my story so providing an opinion on whether or not to re-release the book was based on perception and their personal interests.  Some of the feedback which I chose not to approve was more focused on the graphic details and less on the message I want to send.

Which brings me to this. After reading the book from cover to cover… for the 100th time… yes, there are pieces missing.  Yes, the story is not a pleasant one… and yes, It is somewhat graphic.  What I realized however is this; I realized the book has new meaning for me.  I was looking for something and wanted to convey a message, but looking back at it now, that message was incomplete.

So I have decided to re-arrange and republish my story.  It is important to me that the new experiences in my life are part of the story and that the book delivers the “real” message I am striving for.  I am not sure it will be the crossover book I am looking for to move from an erotic story-teller to a traditional fiction writer, but I am not sure if that is important anymore.

I will keep you posted on the progress.
Wish me luck… and as always, thank you for the support.